UK Startup Claims It Will Pay You $100K to Use Your Face on Robots

A UK startup is claiming it will pay more than $100,000 to use an individual's face in a robot a customer is working on.
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Deep learning photokentoh/iStock

Think you have the face that robots are made of? Then you may be exactly what UK startup Geomiq, which makes design and manufacturing workflow tools, is purportedly looking for. 

The company, which launched in 2017, claimed in a blog post this week that it will pay £100,000 or $111,420, to use a person's "kind and friendly" face in a line of robots an anonymous company is developing. The face chosen will be reproduced on what Geomiq said could be thousands of versions of the robot released across the globe. 


The company making the robots remains anonymous 

"A few weeks ago we were approached by a robotics company asking if we could help it with the finishing touches of a state-of-the-art humanoid robot it’s been working on. Details of the project are scarce due to a non-disclosure agreement we’ve signed with the designer and his investors," Geomiq wrote in the blog.  "Obviously, this is not our usual remit of request, which is why we’re making this public appeal to try and find the right person. The designer knows that this is a big deal, and has agreed to a fee of £100,000 to license the rights to the right face." 

Geomiq wouldn't name the company it's working with other than to say it's privately-funded and that the robot's job will be to act as a virtual friend of the elderly. Geomiq said the production of the robot is slated for 2020. Candidates who make it through the initial screening will be given the full details of the project.   

"We know that this is an extremely unique request, and signing over the licenses to your face is potentially an extremely big decision," wrote the company and then provided a link for people to send an email with a photo of their face.

Apply a healthy dose of skepticism before sending your photo

The blog post is getting a lot of attention over the Internet but readers should approach it with a level of skepticism and think long and hard before shipping along a photo of themselves in an email.  After all, companies have been known to employ misleading tactics to collect images. Earlier this month Google admitted it had employees walk the streets in U.S. cities asking people to sell their facial data for a mere $5 gift certificate. According to media reports Randstad, an agency contracted by Google, targeted homeless people with dark skin.

The request from Geomiq has little in terms of details includng what company is making the robot. Not to mention there are other technologies available that don't require you to pay for the licensing of somebody's face. 

As IFLScience pointed out the anonymous company could use Generative Adversarial Network or GAN technology to make fake human faces. A GAN trained on a photograph will be able to generate new images that look authentic to the original photo.  According to the report the technology has been used already to make fake human faces in photos that people weren't able to tell from the real human images. 

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