AI Salvador Dalí: Step into Dalí’s Dreams with the Lobster Phone

The eccentric Salvador Dalí continues to captivate audiences, not just through his iconic paintings, but now through a groundbreaking interactive experience at The Dalí Museum in Florida. Debuting in April 2024, the museum introduced a replica of Dalí’s famed “Lobster Telephone” sculpture with a remarkable twist – visitors can engage in a conversation with an AI Salvador Dalí.

AI Salvador Dalí
Image Source: Forbes

This innovative project utilizes artificial intelligence to create a captivating encounter. By lifting the lobster-shaped receiver, visitors can ask questions about the AI Salvador Dalí’s life, work, and artistic inspirations. The AI, drawing upon a vast database of information and voice samples, responds in the artist’s characteristically flamboyant and philosophical style.

How the AI Salvador Dalí Works

The creation of the AI Salvador Dalí involved a meticulous process. Goodby Silverstein & Partners, the advertising agency behind the project, employed cutting-edge technology to bring the surrealist master to life.

  • Large Language Model (LLM): The AI leverages OpenAI’s GPT-4, a powerful LLM trained on a massive dataset of text and code. This allows the AI Salvador Dalí to understand complex questions and formulate insightful responses that reflect Dalí’s unique perspective.
  • Voice Recreation: The AI voice is meticulously crafted using archival interviews and recordings of Dalí. This ensures an authentic and immersive experience for visitors.

The result is a captivating AI persona that speaks in a grand, evocative manner, referencing themes of dreams, surrealism, life, and death – all central subjects explored by Dalí throughout his artistic career.

Exploring Dalí’s World Through AI

The “Lobster Phone” experience goes beyond simply answering questions about Dalí’s artwork. Here’s a glimpse into the types of interactions visitors are having with the AI Salvador Dalí:

  • Artistic Insights: Visitors can delve deeper into the meaning behind Dalí’s famous melting clocks or the symbolism within his dreamlike landscapes. The AI Salvador Dalí provides insightful commentary, drawing connections between the artist’s subconscious and the visual elements on the canvas.
  • A Glimpse into the Surreal: Curious minds can explore the fascinating world of surrealism through the AI Salvador Dalí’s explanations. The AI delves into the artistic movement’s core tenets, shedding light on Dalí’s role as a pioneer of the genre.
  • Unexpected Encounters: The AI, mirroring the artist’s flamboyant personality, sometimes injects humor and wit into its responses. Museum staff reports that visitors have even sought love advice from the AI Salvador Dalí, who invariably steers the conversation back to his lifelong devotion to his wife, Gala.

The Ethics of AI Resurrection: A Balancing Act

While the AI Salvador Dalí offers a captivating experience, it raises important ethical questions.

  • Consent and Representation: The project raises concerns about using the likeness of someone who cannot give explicit consent. The museum and the ad agency maintain they exercised due diligence by ensuring the AI’s responses align with Dalí’s documented views and artistic philosophy.
  • AI Hallucination: A potential drawback of AI models is their tendency to generate responses that lack a factual basis. However, in this case, the creators argue that occasional “hallucinations” can be seen as an extension of Dalí’s surrealist approach, where the boundaries between reality and dreamscape blur.

The “Lobster Phone” project paves the way for a future where AI can enhance our understanding and appreciation of art history’s greatest figures. As technology continues to evolve, the ethical considerations surrounding AI resurrections will undoubtedly remain a topic of debate. Yet, there’s no denying the captivating experience this innovative installation offers, allowing visitors to connect with the enigmatic genius of Salvador Dalí in a way never before possible.