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Musicians ask Spotify to publicly abandon controversial speech recognition patent | Engadget


At the beginning of the yr, Spotify secured a for a voice recognition system that might detect the “emotional state,” age and gender of an individual and use that info to make personalised listening suggestions. As you may think, the chance that the corporate was engaged on a expertise like that made lots of people uncomfortable, together with digital rights non-profit Access Now. At the beginning of April, the group despatched Spotify a calling on it to abandon the tech. After Spotify privately responded to these issues, Access Now, together with a number of different teams and a set of greater than 180 musicians, are asking the corporate to publicly commit to by no means utilizing, licensing, promoting or monetizing the system it patented. Some of the people and bands to signal the letter embrace Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello, rapper Talib Kweli and indie group DIIV.

In a new letter addressed to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, the coalition outlines 5 main issues with the expertise. It worries it’s going to permit Spotify or some other firm that deploys it to manipulate customers emotionally, harvest their private info and discriminate towards trans and non-binary individuals. It additionally says the expertise will solely serve to additional worsen financial inequalities within the music trade. “Music should be made for human connection, not to please a profit-maximizing algorithm,” the group says. Access Now asks Spotify to publicly reply to its request by May 18th, 2021.

When we requested Spotify to touch upon Access Now’s request, the corporate pointed Engadget to a letter it despatched to the group in mid-April. “Spotify has never implemented the technology described in the patent in any of our products and we have no plans to do so,” Horacio Gutierrez, Spotify’s head of worldwide affairs, says within the letter. “The decision to patent an invention does not always reflect the company’s intent to implement the invention in a product, but is instead influenced by a number of other considerations, including our responsibilities to our users and to society at large.”

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