Wednesday, May 22, 2024

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Smartphones can tell when you’re high, according to study

In a turn of scientific advance that most people will surely feel is an invasion of privacy, a proof-of-concept study published in Drug and Alcohol Dependence shows that our smartphones can use their technology to know when we’re intoxicated by marijuana with a 90% rate of accuracy.

Essentially, the phones would use learning data via GPS and the smartphone’s accelerometer to sense “movement,” and over time, would be able to sense when we are using marijuana.

“This proof-of-concept study indicates the feasibility of using phone sensors to detect subjective cannabis intoxication in the natural environment, with potential implications for triggering just-in-time interventions,” says the study.

It seems the authors are specifically thinking of situations in which someone intoxicated is behind the wheel of a car. What “just-in-time” means in this context is up to our imaginations, however the potential for this technology to be abused seems rather high. It’s doubtful this amount of reach would be allowed to exist in our smartphones, at least involuntarily.

However, say you don’t necessarily trust yourself to make wise decisions while high, and need the help of your trusty phone, maybe linked to your car. Setting up a mode in which the car does not allow you to drive seems feasible, and something people would opt into.

A similar study has also been conducted with alcohol, showing similar efficacy at 90%.

Read the original article at Forbes.

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