Salvador Dali lives – how Machine Learning brought him to life

Deepfake videos have become known in recent months for abusing the faces of celebrities. But it can also go in an artistic direction. The exhibition entitled “Dalí Lives” in St. Petersburg, Florida, revived the surrealist painter Salvador Dali after thirty years.

Behind the Scenes: Dalí Lives (Source: The Dalí Museum)


Salvador Dali lives on thanks to Machine Learning

Dalí once said in an interview: “I generally believe in death, but in the death of Dali, absolutely not.” With the help of Machine Learning, the Dalí Museum in Florida has now literally breathed life into this statement.

In cooperation with the advertising agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (GS&P), the artist was reconstructed with the help of artificial intelligence. From archive material from various interviews, over 6,000 pictures and 1,000 hours of machine learning were used to transfer the artist’s precise facial expressions to an actor with Dalí’s body proportions.


A Selfie with Salvador Dali

Salvadore Dalí - Selfie mit den Besuchern
Salvadore Dalí – Selfie mit den Besuchern (Source: The Dalí-Museum)


The experience that can be experienced in the Dalí Museum is literally surreal. Visitors can visit the virtual Dalí in a virtual studio built for him, experience stories from his life and even make a selfie with him. With more than three-quarters of an hour of film material, which allows thousands of combinations when talking to the virtual artist, every visitor to the museum has a unique experience with the painter who died in 1989.

This application shows what Machine Learning already makes possible today. Dalí is thus brought closer to most visitors in a way that was previously unthinkable. The visitors experience the people behind the pictures and transfer the creative spirit of Salvador Dalí into our present time. At first it may seem like a great communication campaign, but it is the beginning of a completely new and interactive way of running an art gallery or museum.


Post picture: The Dalí Museum

Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker
Alexander Pinker is an innovation profiler, future strategist and media expert who helps companies understand the opportunities behind technologies such as artificial intelligence for the next five to ten years. He is the founder of the consulting firm "Alexander Pinker - Innovation Profiling", the innovation marketing agency "innovate! communication" and the news platform "Medialist Innovation". He is also the author of three books and a lecturer at the Technical University of Würzburg-Schweinfurt.

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