In a "Bad-sci-fi plot", a tech company is looking for a 'kind and friendly' face to be put on thousands of robots worldwide.
The unnamed tech company has even offered to pay around rupees 91 lakhs (100,000 pounds) to anyone, who agrees to have his face masked on these robots, which are being designed to act as "virtual friends" to elderly people.
The "unusual request" was forwarded to Genuique.com, a mechanical/industrial manufacturing firm, by the privately-funded robotics company as they are looking for the 'finishing touch' to the "state-of-art humanoid robot".
Genuique.com stated, "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 a fee of £100,000 to license the rights to the right face."
The details of the company were not put out due to a non-disclosure agreement. However, the anonymity is also preserved due to the ‘secretive’ nature of the project.
In a post shared on Twitter, Rowland Manthrope, a technology correspondent said that it's a bad-sci-fi plot".
🚨Bad sci-fi plot alert🚨This unnamed company is looking for someone to be the face of its robot, which will be used as a ‘virtual friend’ for elderly peopleIt's offering £100,000 for the rights to your face in perpetuityhttps://t.co/z6zgyWtzAI pic.twitter.com/b51qxkC15Y— Rowland Manthorpe (@rowlsmanthorpe) October 16, 2019
Signing up to have your face put on robots around households is indeed an "extremely big decision" and this didn't go down well with Twitterati.
Even I wouldn't have my face "in perpetuity"— Chris Baraniuk (@chrisbaraniuk) October 16, 2019
Who would?! I grew a beard to hide mine— Rowland Manthorpe (@rowlsmanthorpe) October 16, 2019
Why don't they just generate a face? So unnecessary to demand a real one attached to a living person. Am I missing something?— Mevan Babakar | میڤان (@MeAndVan) October 16, 2019
Surely if you have the tech to build a friendly robot with a human face, you also have the tech to build a human face that’s a composite of numerous actual human faces - plus you can change it for each market as not all humans agree on what makes a face “friendly”?— David Jones (@PerfidusAlbion) October 16, 2019
Have these people ever heard of GANs? There are datasets with 100k realistic (but not real) faces available already. My guess is that we can code a nice generator for less than 100k...— Miguel Bordallo (@gatafunho) October 16, 2019
At least they're asking permission..... pic.twitter.com/q9IHBAolxl— Sarita (@HaaSarita) October 16, 2019