The Dali Museum’s newest exhibit brings Artificial Intelligence to the Burg

One of the Artificial Intelligence portals featuring the artist Salvador Dalí

It’s not the uncanny valley, it’s the surreal valley. The newest exhibit at The Dali Museum, Dali Lives, reimagines the iconic artist in the modern day through artificial intelligence. This groundbreaking exhibit gives visitors a unique opportunity to experience Dali’s larger-than-life personality for themselves.

Dali Lives constructs the artist through machine learning. The end result is an uncanny resurrection of the mustached master for visitors to meet and experience.

An artificial intelligence portal displaying the artist Salvador Dali
Photo by Ysanne Taylor for I Love the Burg

Snap a selfie with Dali

The charismatic life-sized Salvador Dalí greets visitors on a series of interactive screens throughout the Museum, personally welcoming guests to The Dalíand taking a deep dive on the motivations behind his most influential works.

Dalí even snaps selfies with guests before they depart that can be texted straight to your phone.

So, what goes into bringing Salvador Dali back to life? It all started with a partnership between the Museum and Goodby Silverstein & Partners (GS&P) of San Francisco.

One of the Artificial Intelligence portals featuring the artist Salvador Dalí
Photo by Ysanne Taylor for I Love the Burg

The company sorted through hundreds of interviews, letters, quotes and existing archival footage from the artist, according to a press release from The Dali. 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 Dalí’s face.

Reimagining the artist through technology

The AI then generates a version of Dalí’s likeness to impose on an actor’s face and expressions, followed by meticulous sound engineering to sync Dalí’s actual words with the new footage.

The result is over 45 minutes of new footage from the reimagined Dalí, spanning 125 videos, for thousands of combinations, so each visitor may experience completely different interactions with Dalí.

Don’t worry, this isn’t a pop-up exhibit. The AI aspect of the Museum experience will be a permanent part of The Dali going forward. Another day, another groundbreaking piece of art from the house of surreal.

Augmented Reality view of a Dali painting as viewed through the museum's app
By Ysanne Taylor for I Love the Burg

Get ready to experience Dalí as you’ve never seen it before

The fun doesn’t stop with the three new AI portals. Some of the more prominent pieces in the Dalí Museum’s permanent collection have been relocated across the second floor. They are currently a part of the exhibit “VISUAL MAGIC: Dalí’s Masterworks in Augmented Reality”.

The sign for "Visual Magic: Dali's Masterpieces in Augmented Reality"
Photo by Ysanne Taylor for I Love the Burg

Before you head upstairs, be sure to grab a headset device from Guest Services or download the museum’s app to your phone (you’ll still want to use headphones).

When you open the app click on the painting that you’re standing in front of. Then aim the device’s camera at the painting and wait. In a few moments, the painting will come alive before your eyes with the use of animation and sound. After the initial animation, you’ll be able to click into highlighted parts of the paintings to learn more about their inspiration, history, and meaning.

Tying our admission wristbands onto the museum's Wish Tree
By Ysanne Taylor for I Love the Burg

#ProTip, don’t forget to visit the Wish Tree

Be sure to visit Wish Tree in the museum’s Avant-garden. It’s a tradition for visitors to leave their museum wristband passes tied to the streamers hanging from the tree. The wish tree lore goes back centuries stemming from Hindu and Scottish traditions a plaque reads.

Learn more about the exhibit on The Dali’s website.
The Dali Museum, 1 Dali Boulevard

Written by Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan

Andrew Harlan is the Editor of ilovetheburg.com. Follow him on Twitter @harlanyoungII and Instagram @harlanyoung. Send tips and potential stories to info@ilovetheburg.com.