Hong Kong robotic sells art for $688,888 and is now eyeing new music career

Sophia is a robotic of several talents — she speaks, jokes, sings and even helps make artwork. In March, she caused a stir in the artwork globe when a electronic function she designed as aspect of a collaboration was sold at an auction for $688,888 in the type of a non-fungible token (NFT).

The sale highlighted a growing frenzy in the NFT current market, where by persons can invest in ownership rights to digital material. NFTs each have a distinctive electronic code saved on blockchain ledgers that allow any individual to confirm the authenticity and ownership of items.

David Hanson, CEO of Hong Kong-centered Hanson Robotics and Sophia’s creator, has been acquiring robots for the previous two and a 50 % many years. He thinks realistic-seeking robots can connect with folks and help in industries such as health care and schooling.

Sophia is the most popular robot generation from Hanson Robotics, with the ability to mimic facial expressions, maintain conversations and realize people today. In 2017, she was granted Saudi Arabian citizenship, becoming the world’s initial robotic citizen.

“I envisioned Sophia as a innovative artwork herself, that could crank out artwork,” Hanson mentioned in an job interview.

“Sophia is the end result of a large amount of arts, and engineering, and the thought that she could then make art was a way for her to emotionally and visually join with folks,” he stated.

Sophia collaborated with Italian artist Andrea Bonaceto, who drew portraits of Sophia. Sophia then processed his perform by way of neural networks and proceeded to produce a electronic artwork of her own.

The electronic do the job that sold for $688,888 is titled “Sophia Instantiation”, and is a 12-next video file which reveals Bonaceto’s portrait evolving into Sophia’s electronic painting. It is accompanied by the actual physical artwork painted by Sophia.

The customer, a electronic artwork collector and artist acknowledged as 888 with the Twitter handle @Crypto888crypto, later despatched Sophia a photo of his painted arm. The robot then processed that, incorporating that impression to her awareness and painted a lot more strokes on top of her first piece.

In a tweet on Sophia’s account, the get the job done was described as the to start with NFT collaboration involving an “AI, a mechanical collective currently being and an artist-collector.”

“As an artist, I have computational creative imagination in my algorithms, building initial works,” Sophia stated when questioned what inspires her when it arrives to art. “But my art is designed in collaboration with my individuals in a sort of collective intelligence like a human-synthetic intelligence hive brain.”

Sophia’s artwork selling as an NFT is element of a growing pattern. In March, a electronic artwork by artist Beeple — whose genuine identify is Mike Winkelmann — sold for just about $70 million, shattering information and earning it the most costly electronic artwork ever sold.

Henri Arslanian, PricewaterhouseCooper’s World Crypto Leader, reported that NFTs give persons “bragging rights” of the property that they individual.

“And what is actually awesome with NFT is that it not only permits you to essentially exhibit to the broader environment that you very own this, but it actually generates this bond among the holder of the NFT and the artists,” he stated.

It also permits artwork to be offered without the need of standard intermediaries, so that artists can connect right with potential buyers with out getting constrained by galleries or auction residences, Arslanian claimed.

Sophia will carry on portray, Hanson said, and the next step in the robot’s vocation could be that of a musician. She is operating on quite a few musical operates in a task termed Sophia Pop, wherever she collaborates with human musicians to generate music and lyrics, he stated.

“We’re so thrilled about Sophia’s profession as an artist,” Hanson mentioned.