Salvador Dalí died in 1989, but in some ways it’s like he never left. His artwork will be with us forever, and now, thanks to an installation at the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, his personality will live on as well. The museum has created an interactive exhibit, opening May 11, that comes as close as possible to bringing the artist back to life using deepfake technology.
You might be familiar with deepfakes as the technology that allows users to realistically insert celebrities into videos. In this case, the Dalí Museum curators used it to attempt to bring Dalí back from the dead.
The museum employed deepfake technology by analyzing archival footage of Dalí and digitally superimposing his face over an actor with similar body proportions. The museum also hired a voice actor to mimic Dalí’s distinctive Spanish accent. The result is an interactive experience for visitors, where no two guests will ever have the same experience.
This exhibit is designed to give a more personal experience for museum-goers; Dalí even offers to take a selfie with you. But the exhibit also highlights just how advanced deepfakes have become.
The technology can make it appear as if someone is alive when they’re dead, and it can make them seem as though they’re saying things they would never say. In this case, the exhibit has the best of intentions and the permission of the Dalí Foundation in Spain, but this same technology can be used for much more nefarious purposes.
Originally published on Popular Mechanics