Frustration-Detection System Patented By Microsoft

A new patent taken out by Microsoft indicates that the megacorp is hot on the trail of a frustration-detecting help system.

Apparently, test subjects would join a program in which they agree to have a variety of physiological data gathered in relation to their computing activities. For example, if an elevated heart rate was detected, that might indicate stress related to the performance of a particular task.

Once frustration was detected, the frustrated user would be encouraged to contact others in his group who were performing similar tasks (and were not feeling frustrated).

Frankly, I think Arthur C. Clarke had a better idea. His HAL 9000 computer was also able to detect upset humans - and suggest a remedy.

"Hal, switch to manual hibernation control."

"I can tell from your voice harmonics, Dave, that you're badly upset. Why don't you take a stress pill and get some rest?"

"Hal, I am in command of this ship. I order you to release the manual hibernation control."

"I'm sorry, Dave, but in accordance with special subroutine C1435-dash-4, quote, When the crew are dead or incapacitated, the onboard computer must assume control, unquote. I must, therefore, overrule your authority, since you are not in any condition to exercise it intelligently."

In the book version of 2001: A Space Odyssey, HAL finally relinquishes control to Bowman. In the real world, of course, Microsoft never relinquishes control, so you might as well just take your stress pill.

Via Microsoft patents frustration-detecting help system.

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