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Microsoft’s patent number 666 is creepy and rightfully getting trolled

Microsoft in Cryptocurrency

Microsoft has filed a patent, which we covered in our weekly news (#25), is getting trolled on the internet.  

People are referring to the presence of 666 in the patent number (WO2020060606) as an indication of something ominous.

[Quick sidebar: for those who don’t know, 666 is considered the number of the devil].

When you add the fact that the patent proposes to mine cryptocurrency based on human bodily activity adds a sense of creepiness to the matter.

The language in the patent that has triggered the trolls is highlighted in yellow below:

“Human body activity associated with a task provided to a user may be used in a mining process of a cryptocurrency system. A server may provide a task to a device of a user which is communicatively coupled to the server. A sensor communicatively coupled to or comprised in the device of the user may sense body activity of the user. Body activity data may be generated based on the sensed body activity of the user. The cryptocurrency system communicatively coupled to the device of the user may verify if the body activity data satisfies one or more conditions set by the cryptocurrency system, and award cryptocurrency to the user whose body activity data is verified.

Patent says that the device can be anything with the ability to sense, monitor, record and transmit the data over to the system for the cryptocurrency rewards.

The Patent describes “functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scanners or sensors, electroencephalography (EEG) sensors, near infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) sensors, heart rate monitors, thermal sensors, optical sensors, radio frequency (RF) sensors, ultrasonic sensors, cameras, or any other sensor or scanner that can measure or sense body activity or scan human body. For instance, the fMRI may measure body activity by detecting changes associated with blood flow. The fMRI may use a magnetic field and radio waves to create detailed images of the body (e.g. blood flow in the brain to detect areas of activity). The material shows one example of how the fMRI can measure brain activity associated with visual information and generate image data.”

Vagueness is the creepiest part of this patent

If you think the internet is doing its thing and trolling something that is probably not a big deal, think again.  

How about this language in the patent: For example, a brain wave or body heat emitted from the user when the user performs the task provided by an information or service provider, such as viewing advertisement or using certain internet services, can be used in the mining process.”

Fitbit or other devices generally do not read brain waves.

Does this mean that there is a device that is geared to read brain waves?  If so, what can this device do with the brain waves?  Can it read the waves, translate them to text and transmit the data to the system?

Facebook had bought the technology that could read brain waves so people can type their thoughts without a keypad.  However, the program went into stealth mode as it freaked out everyone on the internet.  However,  no one knows if they are secretly building that technology underground or if it is already used by the secret agencies today.  

Now Microsoft comes along and files a patent that can transmit the information based on ‘brain waves’ and mine crypto based on these waves and body heat.  

No wonder people are comparing this proposal with Matrix style human batteries.  

One Reddit user (spectyr) commented:

 “I read this as, “Microsoft Wants To Mine Cryptocurrency From Your Body Cavity Data.” Turns out the patent is just about as invasive.” 

While some quipped it as a cruel joke played on Microsoft by someone at the Patents office.

It gets more creepy

The patent goes on to elaborate “data generated based on the body activity of the user can be a proof-of-work, and therefore, a user can solve the computationally difficult problem unconsciously.”

Does this mean that the device stays connected with the users while they sleep and thus taps into their REM and other stages?

If this project ultimately launches as a centralized (the patent calls for the possibility of both centralized and decentralized models) how will the data be processed, will the data be used to influence user behavior? 

Where will the data go?  Who will have access to such data? Will it be sold or used for other purposes?  

Patent doesn’t clarify.

Covert way to take on Basic Attention Token and other projects?

This patent looks to cover as much ground using as much vague language as possible. For instance, the patent talks about rewarding cryptocurrency for performing simple tasks such as watching an advertisement or uploading a file.

Both these concepts, that is, rewarding users for watching an ad and performing menial tasks have been already launched by other projects. For instance, Basic Attention Token has made strides in rewarding users for watching ads on their Brave Browser.

While Brave project is fighting the intrusion of ad trackers and illicit data mining, Microsoft’s patent seems to go straight for the most intimate details about human body and bodily activity.

All in all, the lawyers at Microsoft have filed a monster (or should we call it Devil?) of a patent that is vague, all-encompassing and invasive, in our opinion. 

No wonder people are trolling the presence of 666 in the patent.

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