In brief

  • The world’s first intelligent NFT was released by software developer Alethea AI this year.
  • The chatbot NFT was later auctioned off for $478,000.
  • Now, big time investors have raised $16 million in a private token sale to create a metaverse of the NFTs.

Software developer Alethea AI, which created the world’s first “intelligent NFT,” just secured $16 million in funding via private token sale to create a metaverse populated by its bots. 

Lead investors in the token sale included NFT fund Metapurse and investment firm Crypto.com Capital, as well as billionaire investor Mark Cuban, Dapper Labs, BITKRAFT, Galaxy Interactive, Sfermion, and LD Capital, according to an announcement from Alethea.

An NFT, for those who don’t know, is a digital deed of ownership that can be connected to just about anything—such as artwork, audio or video content. NFTs are typically minted and stored on the Ethereum blockchain. 

But Alethea wants the NFT world to evolve past videos and expensive artwork into something with “fully interactive, engaging and autonomous agents that can learn and evolve from the environment."

Therefore, the NFTs that will fill the metaverse will be talking, intelligent NFTs (iNFTs) created by Alethea: machine-learning bots that can have human-like conversations. Decrypt spoke with one earlier this year, called Alice, which was auctioned off in June for $478,800.

The idea is that a load of iNFTs with their own personalities will be able to interact with each other in a parallel, computerized, AI-powered world. 

Big-time investors were so impressed by Alice that Alethea was able to put together $16 million in the private token sale. The tokens will let holders have a stake in the virtual world. Meanwhile, Alethea will take the cash to begin building.

“Alethea’s thesis is that NFTs will provide a definitive property rights infrastructure for the emerging Metaverse driven by interactive and intelligent Avatars,” the announcement said. “The AI infrastructure built by Alethea will serve as the underlying connective tissue to enable NFTs to ‘come alive’ as interactive media assets, with personality traits, preferences and real-time interactive capability.”