The first computer images of a sad, smiling face fetched $237,500 at auction on Thursday. Scott Fahlman, a professor of computer science at Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, invented emojis in 1982. So says the Texas-based auction house Heritage Oceans.
Emojis consist of letters that you can find on your keyboard. Smileys 🙂 and sad face :- (so they are symbols, because they consist of colons, hyphens and parentheses. Emojis are small drawings. In a letter he wrote on September 19, 1982, Professor Fahlmann mentioned before using the smiley emoticon to indicate that it was a joke and a symbol My emoji is sad to indicate that the message was serious. Later, the symbols came to mean “I am happy” and “I am sad,” respectively, according to the auction house.
Fahlmann’s creation is meaningful not only because it brought humanity, context, and emotion to a flat screen, but also because it represents the first depiction of a viral meme and culture in online discourse. The work was sold as a so-called “non-fungible token” (NFT), a unique non-fungible token. Through blockchain technology, ownership is linked to a digital object. There may still be many digital copies of the object, and only one copy can be considered the original. Also, the first-ever tweet, written by Twitter founder Jack Dorsey, was sold to NFT in March for $2.9 million.
The auction also included two articles written by Professor Fahlam about his invention of the emoji, one from 2002 and the other written on the occasion of the auction. The highest bidder also received a signed and framed certificate from Professor Fahleman.
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