Hanson Robotics did not respond to an interview request. Nor did the artist, Mr. Bonaceto, the chief executive of the blockchain investment firm Eterna Capital, based in London.
Sophia is a “humanoid” robot created in 2016. In January, Hanson Robotics said that it planned to sell thousands of its robots this year, in part because it expected rising demand for automation in the Covid-19 era.
“Sophia and Hanson robots are unique by being so humanlike,” the company’s chief executive, David Hanson, told Reuters at the time. “That can be so useful during these times where people are terribly lonely and socially isolated.”
The digital artwork that sold on Thursday was hardly Sophia’s first artistic, commercial or intellectual endeavor.
In a 2018 appearance on “The Tonight Show,” it sang a Christina Aguilera song with Jimmy Fallon in what he called the “first ever robot-human duet” in the show’s history.
(“I heard that you can sing?” Mr. Fallon asked before the performance. “Yes, I love to sing karaoke with my new artificial intelligence voice,” Sophia replied. “Got any songs in mind?”)