Robot Company Will Pay $276k for Your Face — If It’s Friendly Enough

Robot Company Will Pay $276k for Your Face — If It’s Friendly Enough
Screenshot: Promobot, Other

The company that reduced peak Arnold Schwarzenegger to a ghastly golem and brought us the friendly but dimwitted Times Square diarrhoea probe is offering $US200,000 (A$276,778) for your face. Forever. Plus, your voice for free. Ominously, according to the site, a robot version of the winning face should “start its activities” in 2023.

Here’s Promobot’s offer, per a press release:

“…seeking a face for a humanoid robot-assistant which will work in hotels, shopping malls and other crowded places. The company is ready to pay out $US200,000 (A$276,778) to somebody willing to transfer the rights to use one’s face forever.”

You could live forever.

Promobot is considering people of all genders and races over 25, so your odds seem to hinge on this primary qualification, presented on the website with this text, followed immediately by the image below:

A candidate must have a “kind and friendly” face!

Photo: Promobot, Other Photo: Promobot, Other

Are you sure you’re ok with this? Look again:

Photo: Promobot, Other Photo: Promobot, Other

If your answer is scan me and write the check!, you could become a CPAC servant or a squid game ref or, more likely, the friendly face of corporate surveillance. In one paragraph, Promobot touts its facial recognition tech, then references “new clients” eagerly rushing the human bots to market for a “large-scale project” and needs a licensed face to “avoid legal delays.” (i.e., not reliving the time Arnold Schwarzenegger sued them.)

Said client is an American company, they say, “supplying solutions to airports, shopping malls and retail stores,” all places where facial recognition is now common. In teeny-tiny faint print below the press release, it mentions that its robots are used in Walmart, Baltimore-Washington Airport, and Dubai Mall. Who says this? These are the people who brought you a coronavirus diagnostic robot using a touchscreen, just as we were on the brink of washing our money.

It’s also headquartered in Russia but claims to have been founded in Philadelphia. Mystifying.

Promobot has not responded to a request for comment on the robot’s use or whether the person with the winning face will be informed of potential uses, but we’ll update the post if we hear back.