redletterdave writes: "Microsoft won a patent for a GPS feature that helps the user avoid bad neighborhoods, weather systems, and dangerous terrain; many are already calling this technology the "avoid ghetto" feature. Created specifically for mobile phones that leverage GPS technology, Microsoft's feature considers weather data, terrain and local crime statistics before offering the user a specific route. According to the patent filing, the GPS feature will retain "pedestrian history from a plurality of pedestrians and addresses of at least one information source that has a history of providing reliable information," and discounts "low quality" sources. Once the device has obtained the information, "an artificial intelligence component makes at least one inference regarding a route based on previous pedestrian behavior." Microsoft also included an "analysis component that determines an importance of the information to the user," so if a user doesn't mind going through an unsafe neighborhood if that route is faster or more direct, the GPS can take that into account. Microsoft's feature works in real-time, so if crime or weather changes, the system can adapt dynamically to provide the user with the safest and most personalized directions at all times."
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