Spotify emotion recognition patent

Occurred: January 2021

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Music Business Worldwide reports that audio streaming company Spotify has been granted a patent (pdf) in the US that identifies and analyses speech to recommend content based on a user's emotional state.

The proposed new technology will use speech recognition to determine a user's emotional state, gender, age, and accent. It can also retrieve information about a user’s background and social environment through microphones.

Whilst the patent may never be implemented, the technology has garnered strong criticism from digital rights, privacy and security experts.

Fight for the Future, Access Now and the Union of Musicians launched a dedicated campaign to persuade Spotify to abandon the technology.

Operator: Spotify

Developer: Spotify

Country: USA; Global

Sector: Media/entertainment/sports/arts

Purpose: Assess emotion
Technology: Speech recognition

Issue: Privacy; Security; Dual/multi-use


Page info
Type: Issue
Published: January 2021
Last updated: January 2022