Spotify may soon keep tabs on your age, gender, emotional state, and accent after a patent filed by the company was approved recently.

As reported by Music Business Worldwide, the streaming behemoth 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. Spotify filed for the patent back in 2018 and it was finally given approval on January 12th of this year.

The technical jargon is complex: it involves the extraction of “intonation, stress, rhythm, and the likes of units of speech” from a user’s voice. The technology could possibly also use speech recognition to identify metadata points such as emotional state, gender, age, and accent based on the audio recordings.

It’s all very advanced and dystopian. Aren’t my ‘Lazy Saturday Bedroom Pop Hazy Lo-Fi Beats For All Your Studying Needs’ playlists detailed and targeted enough already?

“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.

Essentially, then, Spotify wants us to have no say in our own music tastes. Never mind reflecting on your own life, let a faceless corporation do that chore for you.

In a statement given to Pitchfork, a spokesperson for Spotify said the following: “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.”

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Well that’s that cleared up then. Whatever you think of this latest Spotify news, one wonders if they can find some extra cash down the back of the sofa to start paying musicians properly while they indulge in all this advanced technology.

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