Taxis and Advertising using AI - Is this all getting creepy?

Apr 30, 2019 in Advertising
Posted By : Upendra Namburi


Sit down in a cab in Tokyo, and it's quite likely that you'll see an advertisement on the monitor different from that of the next passenger. The tablet would have scanned your face, mapped your gender, age and other characteristics and then served an advertisement customized for you!

A Google privacy engineer Rosa Golijan posted a photo of the tablet inside a taxi explaining that it was used in Japanese taxis to “estimate gender in order to deliver the most optimized content” Quite clearly, an exciting and even ominous view of things to come.

A QR code in that image links to the website of a Japanese e-commerce platform DeNA Co Ltd — specifically linking to the “Trust & Safety” page for the company’s “Premium Taxi Vision” service.

Premium Taxi Vision, first deployed in January, is meant to make “riding a taxi more comfortable and convenient,” according to a DeNA webpage - translated using Google.

The prospects and opportunities are exciting, but this beckons for a clearer discussion on privacy and customer choice? When does it become ok and even empathetic for brands to leverage data to offer bespoke advise?

And, when does it just cross that line of blatant intrusion? Your views?

Photo by Eric Nopanen on Unsplash

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    Upendra Namburi
    May 02, 2019 Download

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