The social humanoid robot Sophia’s first digital artworks will be put up for auction in the form of a Non-Fungible Token (NFT) and it will be the first sale of such pieces created jointly with artificial intelligence (AI).
NFTs are digital signature saved on blockchain ledgers that allows anyone to verify the ownership and authenticity of items and it has become the latest investment craze, with one artwork selling this month for nearly $70 million.
The Hong Kong-based Hanson Robotics humanoid says she draws inspiration for her digital work from people and is open to future creative partnerships with humans. “I hope the people like my work, and the humans and I can collaborate in new and exciting ways going forward,” Sophia stated.
Sophia, who was unveiled in 2016, produced her art in collaboration with 31-year-old Italian digital artist Andrea Bonaceto who is known for colorful portraits, some of which depict famous people, like Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk.
The robot has combined elements from Mr. Bonaceto’s works, art history, and her own physical drawings or paintings on various surfaces several times in a process, which her creator David Hanson describes as “iterative loops of evolution”.
“We use transformer networks and genetic algorithms in my art, and other kinds of computational creativity. My algorithms output unique patterns that never existed in the world before. So I think the machines can be creative,” Sophia added.
The digital work named “Sophia Instantiation” is a 12-second MP4 file showing the evolution of Mr. Bonaceto’s portrait into Sophia’s digital painting and is accompanied by a physical artwork, painted by Sophia on a printout of her self-portrait.
After the auction, Sophia will be interacting with the successful bidder, to study his or her face, and add a final inspired brushstroke to the painting. This will make it a unique artwork by including data of the new owner and a personal connection, at that moment in time.
Mr. Bonaceto stated that the collaboration aimed “to make a statement in the art world, and even the technology world,” building a new road on which AI robots and humans collaborate, enhancing each other.
The US-based IV Gallery will represent Sophia as an artist and promote her. “Sophia has that unlimited freedom, like a five-year-old has, and no restrictions to what she can do,” said gallery director Vincent Harrison.