How would you like it, if I tell you that you can get your face imprinted on a Robot and you will be paid Rs. 92 lakh or £100,000 for agreeing to the terms? Wouldn’t it be great? Well, this is not a myth or a prank. This is true.
A British robot making company dubbed Geomiq has been asking people to use their faces in one of their products. The company has been building a new ‘state-of-the-art’ humanoid robot which is currently under development. The British company is working along with an unnamed company.
The company has offered the people to give the company rights to use their faces for imprinting them on the face of their humanoids. The person agreeing to the terms of and signing the agreement will be paid £100,000 as license fees, which translates to around Rs. 92 lakh (approximately as per October 2019 exchange rates) for doing so.
While the company has revealed its project, it has not yet revealed the name of the co-venturer. The reason that the other company’s name is not being revealed is that Geomiq is bound by an NDA or Non-Disclosure Agreement with the fellow robot making company.
However, the people who will apply will go through a procedure and those who will get selected after shortlisting will be given more information on the project, albeit being bound by the same NDA.
As quoted in an official blog post, “The company is searching for a ‘kind and friendly’ face to be the literal face of the robot once it goes into production. This will entail the selected person’s face being reproduced on potentially thousands of versions of the robots worldwide.”
The blog post went on to provide further details about the project for interested individuals. It said that the purpose of the robot, on which the face will be embarked, would be to “act as a virtual friend” for elderly people.
While the offer may seem tempting on one end, it does have a darker side. With the growing technology and changing businesses, crimes are also changing. There are many companies which are making ‘Sex Robots’ in China and other countries. With trusting the British firm with licensing your face, there is a teeny tiny risk that your face’s data might get stolen and can be used in one of these robots, illegally. These sex Robots currently come with artificially made faces. With so many data thefts and breaches happening in even the best of companies, this occurrence doesn’t seem as surprising.
This is one of the reasons why people are a little concerned about this demand/offer and why can’t the company just make & use a new artificial face exactly like Sophia, the social humanoid robot developed by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics.
The robot has been under development for almost five years and is expected to hit the production line next year. Speaking of the investments and production, the firm has received funding from numerous independent VCs as well as a leading fund based out of Shanghai to manufacture these robots.
Genomic is currently working and known for making therapy robots like ‘Paro’ that helps senior citizens as well as army veterans to make them feel less lonely.
Here are some of the top reactions from Twitter users about the news: