An NFT made by humanoid robot ‘Sophia’ just sold for $688,000

A recent non-fungible token (NFT) sale saw a digital art piece sell for nearly $700,000, as per a report by news outlet Reuters on Thursday. What made this sale impressive, though, was the drawing was made by a robot…of her own face.

Called ‘Sophia,’ the humanoid robot was activated in 2016 by Hong Kong-based company Hanson Robotics. She debuted in the US in March later that year and has even received citizenship of Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia—the only robot to ever receive the citizenship of any country.

But five years and hundreds of human-like experiences later, Sophia’s now trying her luck on NFTs. These are cryptographic representations of real-world or intangible objects ranging from crypto art, real estate, cards, to just about anything, that proves the ownership of the underlying objects to the holder of that NFT.

NFT of her own face

The NFT was produced in collaboration with Italian digital artist Andrea Bonaceto, with Sophia combing elements from Bonaceto’s works, art history, and her own physical drawings.

Titled “Sophia Instantiation,” the digital work is a 12-second MP4 file showing the evolution of Bonaceto’s portrait into Sophia’s digital painting and is accompanied by a physical artwork, painted by Sophia on a printout of her self-portrait.

The piece went under the hammer yesterday and was quickly snatched up by an unknown buyer for $688,000. 

“I was kind of astonished to see how fast it shot up too as the bidding war took place at the end of the auction. So it was really exhilarating and stunning,” said, David Hanson, the founder of Hanson Robotics. 

Sophia is yet to comment on the matter, however.

Sophia bags a million dollars

The portrait was made entirely via Sophia’s own decisions and there was no human interference in the entirety of the drawing. As such, the particular NFT was part of a wider selection of Sophia’s artworks for sale which were sold in editions of 30, for $2,500 or $3,000 each.  The sale generated over $1 million in total, a Nifty Gateway spokesperson.

Meanwhile, the sale was the first instance of an NFT made by a robot getting suitors at a public auction. It was also one of the higher-priced NFTs to have been auctioned in recent times (the most expensive remains a $69 million piece sold by digital artist ‘Beeple.’)

NFTs, at press time, are a $24 billion market that accounts for nearly 1.5% of the $1.6 trillion crypto market. They have lost over -12% in the past day, but have gained 14% as a whole in the last week.

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