If you are in need of money and happen to possess a "kind and friendly face," one company has a proposition for you. Geomiq, a London-based engineering startup, is helping its client, an unnamed robot company, to develop a "virtual friend" for elderly people. That's where your face comes in. The robot needs just the right face, and Geomiq is willing to pay around $127,840 to the person who possesses that face. If you are determined to be a good fit, you'd just have to sign away the rights to your face in perpetuity. As Samantha Cole writes at Vice, that may not be advisable, "but in this economy, you have to do what you have to do." Adds Sky News tech correspondent Rowland Manthorpe on Twitter, "Bad sci-fi plot alert." He calls the whole thing "too weird for words."
Geomiq explains in a press release: The "state-of-the-art humanoid robot" has been in development for five years, is scheduled to go into production next year, and is expected by its makers to be "readily available" to the public soon. The person whose face is used could end up seeing their face "reproduced on potentially thousands of versions of the robots worldwide." Interested? You can apply here. But you might want to beware: As another Twitter user points out, "[O]ne possible advantage for the individual who signs up for it would be that these robots would be great for obfuscation in public facial recognition ... at least until one is programmed to commit a crime that you go down for." (Read more robot stories.)