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AI Powers New “Dali Lives Exhibit” at Dali Museum

“Dali Lives” employs machine learning to create a version of Salvador Dali’s likeness, resulting in an uncanny resurrection of the mustached master for visitors to experience.

“Dali Lives” Image credit: Dali Lives © Salvador Dali Museum, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL, 2019. Quotations by Dali: worldwide rights © Salvador Dali, Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dali, Figueres, 2019. Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dali reserves photographic rights of Dali’s person.

The Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, FL is celebrating Dali’s art and legacy with “Dali Lives,” a groundbreaking artificial intelligence (AI) experience that reimagines Salvador Dali in the present day.

Visitors can learn more about Dali’s life, his work and his larger-than-life personality from the person who knew him best: the artist himself. The much-anticipated “Dali Lives” will be a permanent installation at the museum.

“Dali Lives” employs machine learning to create a version of Dali’s likeness, resulting in an uncanny resurrection of the mustached master for visitors to experience. The life-sized Salvador Dali will greet visitors on a series of interactive screens throughout the museum, personally welcoming guests to The Dali, addressing present-day conditions, and speaking about the motivations behind his masterpieces. Dali will even snap and share selfies with guests before they leave.

Image credit: Dali Lives © Salvador Dali Museum, Inc., St. Petersburg, FL, 2019. Quotations by Dali: worldwide rights © Salvador Dali, Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dali, Figueres, 2019. Fundacio Gala-Salvador Dali reserves photographic rights of Dali’s person.The Dali partnered with Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) of San Francisco to bring the master of Surrealism back to life. The project began by sorting through hundreds of interviews, letters, quotes, and existing archival footage from the artist. GS&P then used more than 6,000 frames and over 1,000 hours of machine learning to train an AI algorithm to learn aspects of Dali’s face. The AI then generates a version of Dali’s likeness to impose on an actor’s face and expressions, followed by meticulous sound engineering to sync Dali’s actual words with the new footage. The result is over 45 minutes of new footage from the reimagined Dali, spanning 125 videos, for thousands of combinations, so each visitor may experience completely different interactions with Dali.

“What ‘Dali Lives’ adds is a sense of emotion,” said Dr. Hank Hine, director of The Dali Museum. “If visitors can empathize with this man as a human being, then they can relate to his works much more directly and much more passionately. It’s a special entry into Dali’s spirit, allowing visitors to engage with the artist in a completely revolutionary way.”

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