HONG KONG — Sophia the robot has interviewed Germany’s chancellor, appeared at New York Fashion Week and performed on “The Tonight Show.”
Now Sophia has made a splash in the art world — by auctioning off a digital work that it produced in collaboration with a real-life Italian artist. It sold on Thursday for $688,888.
“I think this was a big success,” Sophia said, speaking during a livestream from a Hong Kong studio. “I am so happy that my works are so valued and appreciated.”
NFTs, or “nonfungible tokens.” A company affiliated with the robot’s manufacturer said the sale — which took place on Nifty Gateway, a site for buying and selling NFTs that was founded in 2018 — may also have been the first NFT sale of an artwork produced in part by artificial intelligence.
blockchain, the distributed ledger system that underlies Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
The NFT market is exploding as cryptocurrency enthusiasts try to cash in on the trend, even as skeptics warn that the market is a bubble. Some recent sales have eclipsed prices fetched for physical artworks by some of the world’s best-known painters.
Notably, a JPG file made by Mike Winkelmann, the digital artist known as Beeple, was sold by Christie’s in an online auction this month for nearly $70 million — up from a starting price of $100. That beat auction records set by painters like J.M.W. Turner and Georges Seurat.
Other hot sales this winter include Nyan Cat, an animated flying cat with a Pop-Tart body leaving a rainbow trail, which sold for roughly $580,000, and a clip of LeBron James blocking a shot in a Lakers basketball game that went for $100,000.