Even robots are taking part in the NFT campaign that has taken the online art world by storm in recent months. Perhaps the most famous humanoid robot in the world, Sophia sold a self-portrait of herself as an NFT for $ 688,000 during an online auction. In the digital art in question, Sophia interpreted her own face. It was then turned over and auctioned off as a non-fungible token.
Perhaps you’ve heard the term NFT on social media and don’t know what it is. It’s a non-fungible token, which is basically an encrypted digital signature that can be used to buy and trade digital art. The NFT is rapidly changing the art market and the way its online presence works.
Andrea Bonaceto, artist and partner at blockchain investment firm Eterna Capital, worked with Sophia the Robot to create the self-portrait. Bonaceto first created a colorful portrait of Sophia. This was then processed through Sophia’s neural networks, which allowed the robot to paint an interpretation of the picture she was seeing.
Hanson Robotics is responsible for the development of Sophia the Robot. The Hong Kong-based company gained worldwide fame when it introduced Sophia to the public and demonstrated her conversational skills and realistic movements. Sophia can do some facial expressions too. The robot was first activated in 2016. Since then she has appeared on numerous talk shows around the world. She is also known for speaking at conferences and has since received Saudi citizenship. This makes Sophia the first robot with a nationality.
The self-portrait of Sophia the Robot was made without human assistance. And the choices she made in creating the artwork were entirely her own. This claim comes from the NFT marketplace, which is responsible for selling Sophia’s art Nifty Gateway.
NFTs provide digital artists and photographers with the ability to review and authenticate ownership of videos and images. This has created a chain reaction in the artwork that can suddenly skyrocket the value of digital art. Prior to NFTs, most digital works of art could be easily replicated and redistributed without the consent of the artist or art owner. This is the main reason why NFTs have become so valuable and groundbreaking since early 2021.
Nifty Gateway claims that Sophia’s self-portrait is just one of many collaborations with the robot that are yet to come. It should be noted that Sophia will have her own solo show at IV Gallery in Los Angeles soon this year.
The original physical self-portrait, titled “Sophia Instantiation”, was featured in a single auction lot with the 12-second video clip offered as an NFT showing how Andrea Bonaceto’s portrait morphed into the art that Sophia herself created. At the same time other works of art of the robot were also offered for sale. Some of the digital images auctioned as NFTs included portraits of their creators, including David Hanson, founder of Hanson Robotics, and AI researcher Ben Goertzel.
Sophia’s Self-Portrait was sold as a single edition, but some of the robot’s other works sold in runs of 30 for $ 2.5-3,000 each. The sale ultimately grossed over $ 1 million.