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Dr Alexa will see you now: Amazon's AI assistant could soon listen in on coughs, sneezes and moans to act like an in-house doctor for ill users

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 10/16/2018 Joe Pinkstone For Mailonline
Amazon has successfully obtained a patent which would allow Alexa to detect unusual changes in a person's voice caused by illness or crying. After picking up on these abnormalities it will then offer suggestions based on a person's mood (stock) © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Amazon has successfully obtained a patent which would allow Alexa to detect unusual changes in a person's voice caused by illness or crying. After picking up on these abnormalities it will then offer suggestions based on a person's mood (stock)

Alexa may soon be able to act as an in-house doctor for poorly or upset users. 

A patent that was filed by Amazon reveals that Alexa will automatically detect unusual changes in a person's voice and speaking patterns.

The AI-powered smart speaker will also pick up on auditory clues like coughs and moans then offer suggestions to held aid a speedy recovery.

These could include suggesting you eat a bowl of chicken soup as well as offering to deliver cough tablets, tissues and play you soothing music.

The proposed feature, which was filed with the US Patent and Trademark Office, would analyse speech and identify other signs of illness or emotion. 

Images in the patent show a woman battling through what appears to be a cold while talking to the device.  

Alexa responds intuitively and originally suggests a chicken soup recipe to help cure her illness.

It then goes on to suggest the user should purchase some cough drops on Amazon with one hour delivery. 

'Physical conditions such as sore throats and coughs may be determined based at least in part on a voice input from the user, and emotional conditions such as an excited emotional state or a sad emotional state may be determined based at least in part on voice input from a user,' the patent says. 

'A cough or sniffle, or crying, may indicate that the user has a specific physical or emotional abnormality.' 

The proposed system would not need people to disclose any symptoms or offer a diagnosis but would detect any abnormalities in the voice pattern of its owner.  

The patent filing also branches out to include and monitor emotional stability as well as physical well-being. 

a close up of a map: The proposed feature (pictured) would analyse speech and identify other signs of illness or emotion. Images in the patent show a woman battling through what appears to be a cold while talking to the device © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The proposed feature (pictured) would analyse speech and identify other signs of illness or emotion. Images in the patent show a woman battling through what appears to be a cold while talking to the device

Amazon's patent claims Alexa will be able to tell by a person's voice how they are feeling and whether they are bored or tired. 

Alexa will then suggest activities or music to suit these moods. 

The intelligent device will also be able to detect when a person is upset and if they are crying in what it considers to be an example of 'emotional abnormality'. 

Firms as large as Amazon, which earlier this year became the second company ever to be valued at $1 trillion (£760 billion), file and obtain many different patents for various emerging areas of technology. 

In itself the patent does not provide evidence that Amazon is working toward implementing this futuristic healthcare skill. 

However, it does allow the company to explore the possibility if it so wishes.  

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