Sophia the Robot Sells First NFT Artwork for $700K, Prepares for Music Debut

Sophia is the very young and very accomplished humanoid robot from Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics that already boasts a very impressive list of “firsts.” She’s just added a new one: the creator of the world’s first AI-generated piece of NFT art.
Sophia's self-portrait, part of the NFT artwork Sophia Instantiation, which sold at auction for nearly $700K 1 photo
Photo: Twitter/Sophia
Sophia is the first robot in the world to get a passport, the first robot to land magazine covers and TV interviews, the first robot aiming to build emotional connections to puny mortals. As of the other day, Sophia is also a bona fide artist, with her first NFT art installation selling at auction for roughly $700,000. That would be $688,888, to be more exact, a figure that may or may not have something to do with the purchaser’s affinity for 888—he goes by the moniker and the @Crypto888crypto handle on Twitter.

Called “Sophia Instantiation,” the artwork is a non-fungible token (NFT), a 12-second video file comprised in collaboration with Italian artist Andrea Bonacato. It starts with a portrait of Sophia by the artist and, through “iterative loops of evolution,” becomes a self-portrait. The deal also includes a physical self-portrait.

AP notes that this is just the first stage in Sophia’s blossoming as an artist. She’s also ready to be making her debut as a pop artist, with a project called Sophia Pop expected to be rolled out soon. David Hanson, CEO of Hanson Robotics, says that everyone’s excited about the prospect of Sophia’s musical debut, including Sophia herself.

In reality, the news that the robot will be making her pop debut shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Sophia herself has been tweeting about it since late February, even revealing that she and singer Frankie Storm had collaborated on a single called, very aptly so, “Technology.” A sample from it is included in the Instagram video below.

Then, she’s shown her singing chops as far back as 2018, when, on an appearance on Jimmy Fallon, she did a duet of Christina Aguilera’s “Say Something.” Anything of Aguilera’s is notoriously difficult to cover, but Sophia still did a great job. The duet is at the 4.40-minute mark below.

Now’s a good time for a “the robots are about to take over” joke.

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About the author: Elena Gorgan
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Elena has been writing for a living since 2006 and, as a journalist, she has put her double major in English and Spanish to good use. She covers automotive and mobility topics like cars and bicycles, and she always knows the shows worth watching on Netflix and friends.
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