Sophia the robot sells digital NFT artwork for nearly $700,000
Continuing the wave of extraordinary digital art sales manifested by new blockchain-based NFT technology, an artwork co-created by the famous humanoid robot Sophia has now sold for just under US$700,000.
Sophia the robot was constructed by Hong Kong company Hanson Robotics and was first switched on in 2016. While Sophia is certainly not the most sophisticated artificial intelligence around it has been part of several "world-firsts." In late 2017, for example, Sophia became the first robot to be granted citizenship rights when Saudi Arabia declared the robot an official citizen.
Now, Sophia has entered the NFT fray with a digital self-portrait recently selling at auction for US$688,888. The work, titled Sophia Instantiation, was created in collaboration with Italian artist Andrea Bonaceto.
The collaboration began with Bonaceto creating a portrait of Sophia, which was then processed by the robot’s neural networks generating its own interpretation. The final artwork takes the form of a 12-second MP4 showing the two images morph back and forth.
So excited to meet my final collector! 💖🤖 AUCTION UPDATE: @reuters is going to live stream the last 1hr of 1/1 of "Sophia Instantiation" in action. Don't miss this historic moment! https://t.co/a1yJ8UKQlI@hansonrobotics @andreabonac_art @niftygateway @ivgalleryla pic.twitter.com/01STXbQ3VV— Sophia the Robot (@RealSophiaRobot) March 24, 2021
The artwork was purchased by an anonymous NFT collector, only known by the Twitter handle “Crypto888crypto.” In quite a surreal interaction, the collector tweeted “I have goosebumps” after buying the NFT for over half a million dollars. To which Sophia responded, “Me too, we really had a connection.”
Me too, we really had a connection @Crypto888crypto ! 💖🤖Your work was very inspiring on so many levels, so I want to hold on to its meaning a little longer. Will share soon. Thank you @andreabonac_art @niftygateway @ivgalleryla @hansonrobotics and all my Sophia Collective team!— Sophia the Robot (@RealSophiaRobot) March 24, 2021
In other Sophia news, Hanson Robotics has announced a new partnership with a computer vision company called Immervision. The deal essentially merges the two company’s innovative technologies.
Last year Immervision launched its own humanoid robot named Joyce. The novelty of this Immervision humanoid robot comes in a technology dubbed panomorphEYE, a kind of visual cortex for robots encompassing a trio of ultra-wide angle cameras and innovative vision processing tech.
The new partnership between the two companies essentially leverages Hanson Robotics’ embodied humanoid systems with Immervision’s computer vision technology. Sophia gets a visual cortex upgrade while Joyce gets a new humanoid body.
“We are very excited to be partnering with Immervision on the JOYCE project,” says Hanson Robotics CEO David Hanson. “I believe that strong computer vision like Immervision’s products, combined with embodied cognition of a social robot like Sophia and her little sister JOYCE, will produce in huge leaps forward in useful AI and robotics.”