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While Uber has changed the way that many think about transportation, it’s also changed the way that many drunk people find their way home at night. Rather than haphazardly hailing a cab or driving home under the influence, Uber provides a relatively safer way to get from point A to B on an indulgent evening.
The company has been curious about its drunk users, applying for a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a system that would use machine learning to determine the ‘state’ of a passenger.
While the patent limits itself to a dry discussion of ‘user state,’ it seems that what Uber is really interested in is detecting the difference between users of sound mind and users who are under the influence.