HONG KONG (AP) – Sofia is a robot with many talents – she talks, jokes, sings and even makes art. In March, it sparked a stir in the art world when a digital work she created as part of a collaboration was sold at auction for $ 688,888 in the form of an irreplaceable marker (NFT).
The sale highlighted the growing fury in the NFT market, where people can buy ownership of digital content. Each of the NFTs has a unique numeric code written on blockchain books that allow anyone to verify the authenticity and ownership of the items.
David Hanson, CEO of Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics and founder of Sofia, has been developing robots for the past two and a half decades. He believes realistic-looking robots can connect with humans and help in industries such as healthcare and education.
Sofia is the most famous robot creation from Hanson Robotics, with the ability to imitate facial expressions, to have conversations and to recognize people. In 201
“I imagined Sofia as a creative work of art that can generate art,” Hanson said in an interview.
“Sofia is the culmination of many arts and engineering, and the idea that it can then generate art is a way for it to connect emotionally and visually with people,” he said.
Sofia collaborates with the Italian artist Andrea Bonaceto, who paints portraits of Sofia. Sofia then processed his work through neural networks and continued to create his own digital work of art.
The digital work, which sells for $ 688,888, is titled “Sophia Instantiation” and is a 12-second video showing the portrait of Bonaceto, which became the digital painting of Sofia. It is accompanied by physical works of art painted by Sofia.
The buyer, a digital art collector and artist known as 888 with a Twitter handle @ Crypto888crypto, later sent Sofia a photo of his painted hand. The robot then processed this, adding this image to her knowledge and drawing more strokes on its original piece.
In a tweet about Sofia’s account, the work was described as the first NFT collaboration between “AI, a mechanical collective being and a collector of artists.”
“As an artist, I have computational creativity in my algorithms, creating original works,” Sofia said when asked what inspires her in terms of art. “But my art was created in collaboration with my people in a kind of collective intellect as the mind of the hive of human artificial intelligence.”
Sales of Sofia’s artwork such as NFT are part of a growing trend. In March, a digital work of art by Beeple – whose real name is Mike Winkelman – sold for nearly $ 70 million, breaking records and making it the most expensive digital work of art ever sold.
Henri Arslanyan, global crypto leader at PricewaterhouseCooper, said the NFT gave people “rights to praise” the assets they owned.
“And what’s really amazing about NFT is that it not only allows you to show the wider world that you own it, but it really creates that connection between the NFT owner and the artists,” he said.
It also allows art to be sold without traditional intermediaries, so artists can connect directly with buyers without being restricted by galleries or auction houses, Arslanyan said.
Sofia will continue to paint, Hanson said, and the next step in the robot’s career could be that of a musician. She is working on several musical works in a project called Sofia Pop, where she collaborates with human musicians to generate music and lyrics, he said.
“We are so excited about Sofia’s career as an artist,” Hanson said.