The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida is set to celebrate Salvador Dali’s art and legacy with “Dali Lives,” a groundbreaking experience to be unveiled in April 2019. Visitors to the museum will have the opportunity to learn more about Dali’s life and work from the person who knew him best: the artist himself. Using an artificial intelligence (AI)-based cutting edge technique, the new “Dali Lives” experience employs machine learning to create a version of Dali’s likeness, resulting in an uncanny resurrection of the mustached master. When the experience opens, visitors will for the first time be able to interact with an engaging lifelike Salvador Dali on a series of screens throughout the Museum.
“Dali was prophetic in many ways and understood his historical importance,” says Dr. Hank Hine, executive director at The Dali. “He wrote, If someday I may die, though it is unlikely, I hope the people in the cafes will say, ‘Dali has died, but not entirely.’ This technology lets visitors experience his bigger-than-life personality in addition to our unparalleled collection of his works.”
The Museum began this immersive project by collecting and sharing hundreds of interviews, quotes, and existing archival footage from the prolific artist. These extensive materials trained an AI algorithm to “learn” aspects of Dali’s face, then looked for an actor with the same general physical characteristics of Dali’s body. The AI then generates a version of Dali’s likeness to match the actor’s face and expressions. To educate visitors while engaging with “Dali Lives,” the Museum used authentic writings from Dali himself – coupled with dynamic present-day messages – reenacted by the actor.