An idea came to me on my Citi Bike ride home today. It's not throught through but I decided to share anyway.
Advertising as distributed computation power
Include a "Power Pixel" on every ad served. The pixel would fire off a request to a third party Power Platform that returns some computation that needs to be complete. The computation returned can be optimized based on the website / device being used (ads are likely on page for longer on content sites versus photo sharing sites where you just skip from photo to photo). If the computation is completed in time, a solution request is sent back to the Power Platform with the answer at which time another computation request could be returned. The Power Platform also has to determine which computation to respond with based on other computations that are out / unanswered.
Open Questions :
- Is the energy needed to run the Power Platform greater than the sum of all the disparate computations performed by individual PCs? If so, it's make more sense to just run the computations in the Power Platform itself.
- Who pays for this? Is it the company that needs the problem solved? Are they paying the advertiser, the publisher or the user?
- Is it worth it to distribute a problem into such small pieces as to be actually suitable for this sort of a solution? Pretty sure the answer is yes here.
- Will the time an ad is on page be enough to actually answer any meaningful computation?