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Robot with Saudi Arabian Citizenship Sold Self-portrait at NFT Auction

Sophia.
via Instagram

Saudi Arabia’s citizen Sophia—the world's first humanoid robot developed by a Hong Kong-based company—sold a digital self-portrait in the form of a non-fungible token (NFT) for nearly $ 700,000. This is her debut in the art world.

Sophia, who appeared in 2016, has been creating art in collaboration with the thirty one year old Italian digital artist Andrea Bonacheto. She has combined elements from the works of Bonacheto, works of world art, and her own drawings and paintings performed on various surfaces. The digital work, titled Sophia Instantiation, is a twelve second MP4 file showing the transformation of Bonaceto's portrait into a digital painting, accompanied by a physical copy of the work. The robot's creator, based in Hong Kong, David Hanson of Hanson Robotics, said he was surprised by the auction’s results.

NFT, a digital signature stored in blockchain ledgers, allows anyone with ownership of an item to sell it. Such auctions have become one of the latest investment trends: the cost of one work reached almost $ 70 million.