Would You Sell Your Face to a Robot?

Would You Sell Your Face to a Robot?

It sounds like a plot from a lost Black Mirrorepisode: a tech company puts out the call for a "friendly" face to use for a robot being commissioned by a mysterious client. They say it's for a "virtual friend" designed to aid elderly people, and the money's good (£100,000 or around $127,840), so you agree.

Years pass and you don't think much of it, until one day you're checking Nana into a retirement home and see yourself rolling residents down a hallway. It's weird at first, but nothing you can't handle. Even more years pass; after a series of protests sparked by police-involved shootings calling for greater accountability, the government decides to replace law enforcement patrols with robots. The same company you sold your face to gets contracted to build the new class of robots and suddenly you see your face on every street corner. You resolve to wear more hats and scarves from now on.

It sounds like science fiction (okay, it's mostly science fiction), but London-based engineering firm Geomiq is currently offering the chance to make that world a reality. According to a recent post on their blog, the company was tapped by an undisclosed investor to help put the finishing touches on a humanoid robot that is designed to help take care of the elderly.

"The company is searching for a 'kind and friendly' face to be the literal face of the robot once it goes into production," Geomiq said. "This will entail the selected person's face being reproduced on potentially thousands of versions of the robots worldwide."

As a result, the company has put out an open call to find the face of this new series of robots with a handsome payout of $127,840 for the rights to use it in perpetuity. We would be lying if we said it didn't sound tempting; there are a lot of ways to spend that kind of money. You could even theoretically buy yourself a new, maybe less "friendly" face for that kind of money, if you wanted. But the ramification of letting a company have the rights to your literal face is enough to give us some pause.

The "what ifs?" scenarios are endless. What if the robots start killing people? What if they decide to turn them into sex bots? What if they get your nose wrong? There is also the question of what exactly constitutes a "friendly" face. Is it a certain set of features? Big eyes? Just the right amount of laugh lines? Geomiq isn't exactly clear on what qualifies a face as "friendly" or not. They do, however, state that more details will be disclosed to the potential candidates if they make it to the next round.

If after all that you are still down to be the face of the robot uprising, you can head over here to Geomiq's website to submit yourself for consideration.

Photo via Getty