New Spotify Patent Involves Monitoring Users’ Speech to Recommend Music

Noah Yoo
·2 min read

Spotify has been granted a patent with technology that aims to use recordings of users’ speech and background noise to determine what kind of music to curate and recommend to them, Music Business Worldwide reports. The company filed for the patent in 2018; it was approved on January 12, 2021.

The patent outlines potential uses of technology that involves the extraction of “intonation, stress, rhythm, and the likes of units of speech” from the user’s voice. The tech could also use speech recognition to identify metadata points such as emotional state, gender, age, accent, and even environment—i.e., whether someone is alone, or with other people—based on audio recording.

The patent filing outlines how Spotify currently uses a decision tree—showing users different artists, genres, and more—to help refine its recommendation algorithm for the user. “What is needed is an entirely different approach to collecting taste attributes of a user, particularly one that is rooted in technology so that the above-described human activity (e.g., requiring a user to provide input) is at least partially eliminated and performed more efficiently,” reads the filing. Find the patent below.

It’s currently unclear whether Spotify has established a roadmap for the implementation of this tech into its desktop or mobile apps, or what form this implementation might take. It is also unclear if the technology currently exists or if the patent is speculative. It should be noted that it is not abnormal for tech companies to patent technology that does not end up making it to market.

A Spotify spokesperson provided the following statement to Pitchfork:

Spotify has filed patent applications for hundreds of inventions, and we regularly file new applications. Some of these patents become part of future products, while others don't. Our ambition is to create the best audio experience out there, but we don't have any news to share at this time.

Read “Could Spotify’s New Discovery Mode Be Considered Payola?” over on the Pitch.

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Originally Appeared on Pitchfork