Salvador Dalí Lives: AI deepfake resurrects legendary surrealist at Florida museum

Salvador Dali

Salvador Dalí, the Spanish surrealist artist famously said “[I] believe in general death but in the death of Dalí absolutely not. [I] believe in my death becoming almost impossible” – and in this case, he was absolutely right.

Whilst AI technology of the past has claimed to resurrect long deceased icons of the past, the Dali Museum in St Petersburg, Florida has used AI ‘deepfake’ technology to train an artificial intelligence to mimic and reproduce the likeness of the surrealist artist.

30 years after his death, ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) were tasked with bringing Dalí back to life, using film footage from a plethora of angles and selecting the best frames to train the AI system with, providing over 6,000 frames for analysis by the system.

Over 1,000 hours of machine learning was required to perfect the system, analysing his likeness, speech and writings to create a representation of Dalí that mimics the finest details of the artist’s movements and speech.

An actor with an identical body shape was used in combination with the AI superimposed over the actor, incorporating an additional voice actor  

Three interactive, life-size screens were used in the Dalí Museum in St Petersburg, Florida, with 125 interactive videos and 190,512 combinations of movement and speech to engage visitors in a way previously unexplored in the art world to provide an experience that is unique and personalised to each visitor.

As a final surprise in true Dalí surrealist fashion, visitors have an opportunity to take a selfie with Dalí, taken on the virtual artist’s own phone.

Visitors then receive their selfie with Dalí via text, as a one of a kind keepsake.

The virtual Dalí is designed to connect visitors to both the art and the artist on an emotional level.

Hank Hine, director of the Dalí Museum said “If they can empathise with this man as a human being, then they can relate to the work much more directly, much more passionately.”