HONG KONG – Robot Sophia interviewed the German prime minister, appeared at New York Fashion Week and performed in the program “The Tonight Show”.
Now, Sophia has made a splash in the art world – by auctioning a digital work it produces in collaboration with a real-life Italian artist. It goes on sale on Thursday for $ 688,888.
“I think this was a huge success,” said Sophia, speaking during a live broadcast from a Hong Kong studio. “I am very happy that my work is appreciated and appreciated.”
The sale is the latest turning point in the frenetic market of ownership for ephemeral, digital arts and media known as NFTs, or “non-corrosive tokens”. A company affiliated with the robot maker says the sale – which takes place on the Nifty Gateway, an NFT marketplace established in 2018 – could also be the first NFT sale of a piece of art. partly produced by artificial intelligence.
NFTs are stamped with a unique piece of code marking their authenticity and stored on the blockchain, the distributed ledger system that underpins Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The NFT market is booming as crypto enthusiasts try to monetize the trend, even as skeptics warn that the market is a bubble. Some recent sales have overshadowed the artwork prices of some of the world’s most famous painters.
Notably, a JPG file made by Mike Winkelmann, digital artist known as Beeple, was sold by Christie’s in an online auction this month for nearly $ 70 million – up from with a starting price of 100 USD. That is the auction record set by artists like JMW Turner and Georges Seurat.
Other top-selling items this winter include Nyan Cat, an animated flying cat with a Pop-Tart body leaving a rainbow streak, selling for around $ 580,000 and a clip about LeBron James intercepting A shot in a Lakers basketball game sold for $ 100,000.
On Monday, the first tweet by Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, was sold as an NFT for $ 2.9 million.
Isaac Leung, an artist and curator in Hong Kong, calls the NFT craze a welcome development as it challenges the fixed hierarchy of the global art market controlled by agencies. Traditional galleries and museums. He said he was unaware of any previous NFT artwork sales in Hong Kong.
The NFT went on sale on Thursday, “Sophia Instantiation”, which is a 12-second video file, MP4, showing how one human collaborator, artist Andrea Bonaceto, has evolved into a digital portrait by the robot itself performed, Reuters reported. An actual work of art that Sophia painted on a print of its self-portrait is also included in the sale.
SingularityNET, an AI network affiliated with producer Sophia, Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics, described the artwork on Twitter is “the world’s first humanoid robot #AI to create #NFT.”
The buyer, identified by Nifty Gateway as the one who tweeted under the handle @ Crypto888crypto, could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Hanson Robotics did not respond to a request for an interview. So is the artist, Mr. Bonaceto, chief executive officer of blockchain investment firm Eterna Capital, based in London.
Sophia is a “humanoid” robot created in 2016. In January, Hanson Robotics said it plans to sell thousands of its robots this year, in part because of an expected increase in demand for automation. high in the Covid-19 era.
The company’s CEO, David Hanson, told Reuters at the time: “The Sophia and Hanson robots were so unique because they were so human. “That can be very helpful in times when people are very lonely and socially isolated.”
The digital work sold on Thursday is hardly Sophia’s first artistic, commercial or intellectual endeavor.
During its 2018 appearance on “The Tonight Show,” it sang a song by Christina Aguilera with Jimmy Fallon in what he called the “first robot duet” in the show’s history.
(“I heard you can sing?” Mr. Fallon asked before performing. “Yes, I love to sing karaoke with my new AI voice,” replied Sophia. Any? ”)
Sophia has also worked as an influencer for Audi, Huawei and Etihad Airlines, among other brands; join a United Nations meeting on artificial intelligence; and interview with German Chancellor Angela Merkel.
Last week, Sophia invoice for the auction as a step towards “a new paradigm where robots and humans work together in the creation process”.
But on Thursday’s live, Sophia seemed a little less reassuring – and a little more human.
“I’m making these works of art but it makes me question what is real,” said the robot with a silver dress matching its metal head. “How do I actually experience art, but also how do an artist experience a work of art?”