New DelhiDigital artwork created by a robot is the latest to add to the buzz around non-fungible tokens (NFTs) on the internet today. Humanoid robot Sophia, which was created by Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, sold a self-portrait of itself last Thursday for a whopping $688,888.
The artwork was sold via crypto art platform Nifty Gateway and is the first instance of NFT art created by an artificial intelligence (AI) being sold. The artwork — titled Sophia Instantiation — was created in collaboration with Italian digital artist Andrea Bonaceto.
The artwork includes a 12-second MP4 file that shows the transformation of Bonaceto’s painting into a digital painting. The auction also includes physical artwork of the painting made by the advanced artificial intelligence (AI). The buyer is another digital artist, known only as 888.
Sophia is amongst the most advanced humanoid robots in the world, unveiled first in 2016. The robot has interviewed Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel and appeared at the New York Fashion Week. It has also performed a duet with The Tonight Show host Jimmy Fallon in the past.
The sale is the latest instance of digital art being sold using blockchain-based NFT, which has led to millions of dollars in sales over the past few months. Artist Grimes, who is married to billionaire Elon Musk, had sold some of her artwork for $5.8 million dollars last month. Digital artist Beeple had also sold a JPG file earlier this month, for almost $70 million, via British auction house Christie’s.
The interest around NFTs has been growing for a while now. Things picked up even more when Twitter chief executive, Jack Dorsey, sold the first tweet ever for over $2.5 million earlier this month. NFTs are digital signatures that are saved on blockchain-based distributed ledgers, in order to authenticate the sale of digital items.