Microsoft applied for an unusual new patent that would read users’ brainwaves in exchange for cryptocurrency like Bitcoin.
The patent application, which has yet to be granted, describes a system that would scan a user’s brain activity or other biological signals to make sure they completed a task, such as watching a commercial. The system would then use those signals to mine for cryptocurrency like Bitcoin, PC Magazine reports, as a way to compensate the user.
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The logistics for how such a transaction would occur remain hazy: the application includes details on how such a system’s software may work, but less information on how it would actually be used.But this wouldn’t be the first time a tech company tried to patent absurd technology — it’s actually a fairly common practice, even though many of the systems described in these patents never get built.
Based on what information is available, the system seems ideal for a system like Mechanical Turk, in which workers complete quick tasks — like helping train AI algorithms — for small sums of money.
The idea there, PC Mag reports, is to make the process of proving that someone actually did the work quick and painless — albeit intrusive — instead of taking up time they could spend on the next job.