Surrealist Artist Lives Again through Magic of Deepfakes & AI

The Salvador Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, FL introduced its visitors to its namesake artist in a deeply surreal way last Saturday.

A life-sized version of Salvador Dali on a screen is interacting with visitors, using an algorithm developed to fit his speaking style and ideas. The firm Goodby, Silverstein & Partners used 6,000 frames of Dalí taken from historic footage and 1,000 hours of machine learning to create the engaging exhibit, which also allows those interacting to get a “selfie” with Dalí, which he appears to text to their phones.

The Dalí “deepfake” can produce up to 45 minutes of content and 190,512 possible combinations of phrases and decisions using AI technology, according to a story on

“Dalí was prophetic in many ways and understood his historical importance,” said Dr. Hank Hine, executive director at The Dalí Museum. “He wrote, If someday I may die, though it is unlikely, I hope the people in the cafes will say, ‘Dalí 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’s video on the exhibition, called “Dalí Lives,” shows the artist’s surreal surrogate, talking about his life and art as it describes how the technology works. An actor reproduced his voice and distinctive accent.

A still from the video, “Dali Lives.”