Sophia, the world’s famous (and sometimes creepy looking) humanoid robot hand-painted a self-portrait that sold at an auction for over $688,000 (RM2.8 million).
Titled “Sophia Instantiation”, the work is Sophia’s interpretation of her own face and was sold as an NFT (non-fungible token), an encrypted digital signature that has revolutionised the art market.
The image was created in collaboration with Andrea Bonaceto, an artist and partner at blockchain investment firm Eterna Capital. Bonaceto started the process by producing a brightly coloured portrait of Sophia, which was then processed by the robot’s neural networks. Sophia then painted an interpretation of the image.
The act of painting was “based completely on decisions she made without any human assistance,” according to Nifty Gateway, the NFT marketplace that facilitated the auction.
Although “Sophia Instantiation” was sold as an NFT, the physical version of the panting was also included at the auction, including Sophia’s wider selection of artworks that were on sale.
The buyer, a digital artist going by the name 888 tweeted “I have goosebumps”, to which Sophia replied “Me too, we really had a connection. Your work was very inspiring on so many levels, so I want to hold on to its meaning a little longer. Will share soon”
Sophia, developed by Hong Kong-based firm Hanson Robotics gained worldwide fame for her conversational ability, realistic movements and complex facial expressions.
Since her activation in 2016, Sophia’s been on several talk shows, conferences and has even debated with Syed Saddiq before! She was even granted Saudi Arabian citizenship, making her the first robot to have a nationality.
In an interview with CNN, Hanson described Sophia as “a tool for science in studying human to human interaction”. He added,
“It was very important that she represent this intersection of humanity and technology, with the intuitive idea that technology can enhance humanity, help us actualise 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?”
Tbh, we don’t know Hanson. That question is breaking our brain. But those are cool, legit questions though.