Sophia, the AI-powered humanoid robot by Hanson Robotics, recently sold an NFT (non-fungible token) portrait for $688,888 USD. For those new to NFTs, it’s basically a unit of data on a digital ledger called a blockchain, where each one represent a unique digital item, thus making them unique. Access to the original file, tracked on their underlying blockchains, is restricted to the owner of the token, while only the digital files themselves are reproducible. Read more for a video and additional information.
Sophia created this artwork in collaboration with 31-year-old Italian digital artist Andrea Bonaceto. She combined elements from Bonaceto’s works, art history, along with her own physical drawings or paintings on various surfaces multiple times in a process described as “iterative loops of evolution”. The artwork is titled “Sophia Instantiation,” and is a 12-second MP4 file showing the evolution of Bonaceto’s portrait into Sophia’s digital painting, and includes a physical artwork, painted by Sophia.
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It was very important that she represent this intersection of humanity and technology, with the intuitive idea that technology can enhance humanity, help us actualize to higher states of being. At the same time, [technology can provoke these questions: What does it mean to be human? What is real, what isn’t real? What is the reality of our future which does not yet exist?,” said Sophia’s creator, Hong Kong-based David Hanson of Hanson Robotics to CNN.