State of the Nation

Uber has become a saviour to both those stranded in the taxi-less wastelands of suburbia, and those who’ve had ‘just one more’ beer and can’t face the prospect of public transport. As a consequence of the latter, Uber’s customer base is perhaps likely to have a disproportionate weighting to those of varying degrees of intoxication. However, as a customer-centric tech platform, there is no resting on laurels or suppositions here. Last week Uber filed a patent for ‘Predicting User State Using Machine Learning’. This identifies ‘uncharacteristic user activity’ such as data input accuracy, data input speed, device angle, walking speed, and the time of the day to determine the ‘state’ of the user. Responding to this information, Uber can then match the user ‘with drivers with experience and training with users having an unusual state’, or simply refuse the request. If you are the kind of person that is prone to having an unusual state, or perhaps you’re just a bit clumsy, you might wish to consider leaving your phone in the hands of your partner from now on.