Sophia Robot's Digital NFT Artwork Sold For ₹5 Crore At Auction

India Times, March 25, 2021

Humanoid robot Sophia successfully sold a hand-painted "self-portrait" for over ₹5 crore in the form of a Non-Fungible Token (NFT), marking the world’s first sale of such pieces created jointly with artificial intelligence (AI).


NFT is a digital signature authenticated by blockchain that certifies the ownership and originality of items. It has become the latest investment craze, with one digital artwork--a collage of 5,000 individual images by Beeple--selling for nearly $70 million earlier this month. 


ALSO READ: Sophia Robot's Digital Art Will Be World's 1st AI Painting To Be Sold Online


Before taking up the role of a digital artist, Sophia had already established herself as an activist, a musician, and a fashionista five years since she was activated by the Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics.


Her recent artwork is created in collaboration with the 31-year-old Italian artist Andrea Bonaceto, who is known for his colourful portraits and is founding partner at blockchain investment firm Eterna Capital. 


Titled “Sophia Instantiation”, the piece comes in the form of a 12-second MP4 file that shows the evolution of Bonaceto’s portrait into Sophia’s digital painting. It comes accompanied with a physical artwork, painted by Sophia on a printout of her self-portrait. 


Reuters reported that Sophia combined elements from Bonaceto’s works, art history and her own physical drawings or paintings on various surfaces multiple times. The artwork is essentially her interpretations of her own face.


 "I hope the people like my work, and the humans and I can collaborate in new and exciting ways going forward," Sophia said in a video before the auction went live.
“We use transformer networks and genetic algorithms in my art, and other kinds of computational creativity. My algorithms output unique patterns that never existed in the world before. So I think the machines can be creative.”