Earlier this 12 months, Spotify elicited sheer panic when it was granted a patent for analyzing customers’ voices to decipher their emotional state after which make music suggestions to match. Below the patent’s description, Spotify would additionally give you the chance to use your speech to determine gender, age, accents, and even when you’re with somebody or alone.
It’s only a patent and that know-how could by no means discover its manner into the platform. However in an period of surveillance capitalism and ever-heightening privateness and knowledge issues, synthetic intelligence that tries to feed you music primarily based on what it thinks you’re feeling looks as if one more dystopian future that’s virtually right here. In any case, emotion-recognition know-how is already being used in advertising and marketing, safety, and hiring.
However musician and activist Evan Greer is doing what she will be able to to be certain that Spotify’s patents by no means turn out to be a actuality.
At the side of the discharge of her single “Surveillance Capitalism” off her new album, Spotify Is Surveillance, Greer can be calling for Spotify to ditch any plans of surveilling its customers. Launched in partnership with nonprofit advocacy group Struggle for the Future, the place she is the deputy director, StopSpotifySurveillance.org lays out the stakes of the difficulty at hand and gives a petition to signal.
“The truth that Spotify filed a patent for such a emotional surveillance and manipulation is past chilling,” Greer stated in a press release. “It’s not sufficient for them to say that they haven’t any plans to use this know-how proper now, they need to publicly commit to by no means conducting such a surveillance on music listeners.”
To drive that time dwelling, Greer explains the track “Surveillance Capitalism” is supposed to underscore how the web nonetheless has “the potential to profoundly remodel our society for the higher, abolishing false shortage, and enabling common entry to human information and creativity, whereas guaranteeing marginalized and impartial artists and creators are pretty compensated for our labor.
“But when we enable a small handful of firms to dominate the net and the music trade with a parasitic enterprise mannequin primarily based on surveillance and exploitation,” she provides, “we’re headed for the alternative: a dystopian future the place algorithms resolve what we see and listen to primarily based on revenue, quite than artistry.”
Greer isn’t the one one pushing again in opposition to Spotify, which hasn’t confronted the identical type of consideration as different giant tech corporations concerning privateness and surveillance. The digital civil rights group Entry Now has additionally demanded that Spotify withdraw any plans to implement its patent. “This know-how is harmful, a violation of privateness and different human rights, and needs to be deserted,” the nonprofit wrote in a letter to Spotify CEO Daniel Ek, which was reported by Axios.
Learn extra about StopSpotifySurveillance.org right here and take a look at Greer’s album here. The proceeds from the track can be donated to the Union of Musicians and Allied Employees (UMAW) to assist their #JusticeAtSpotify marketing campaign.