Google Patents Google Patents "Active Watching" Technology

Google recently submitted a patent under the name "detecting the end of a user question". At the first glance the idea seems truly great as it will drastically improve voice commands and the Google search feature on your Android-powered devices. However, at a closer look, the type of technology that the patent mentions will most likely make conspiracy theorists shiver.

The company is thinking about using multiple microphones to detect voices in the room and the location that they are coming from in order to isolate the user's voice from the ambient noise. Furthermore, the phone will also be able to use video (webcam) visual indicators so that it can determine the intention of the user. Basically, the goal is to provide the ability to include your smartphone into a conversation (with one or several individuals), in which the device will provide the answers you were looking for.

The part that many probably won't like is where the patent declares that the device will not only be constantly monitoring the activity in the room but also store various information such as people's identities, social networks utilized by the users, their professions, current location, etc. The patent goes on to say that if the device collects personal information about its user, the respective customer may have the possibility to disable the data collection feature.

Although most of the ideas described in the patent may prove to be really awesome as far as voice commands and conversational features for artificial intelligence applications go, but some of them show an alarming disregard to the privacy of the user. However, this is still just an unapproved concept and not a reality, so I'm going to wait for Google to make an official statement, before starting to criticize them.

Source: Phandroid