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Dali Lobster Phone Employs Artificial Intelligence

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The “Ask Dalí” installation at the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, provides an interactive experience with a digital duplicate of the famous Surrealist artist. This AI-powered feature focuses on a reproduction of Dalí’s iconic Lobster Telephone sculpture. Visitors can lift the receiver of this crustacean-shaped phone to ask questions and receive AI-generated responses.

The AI uses an OpenAI GPT-4 model trained using Dalí’s archival recordings and writings, such as Mystical Manifesto, Diary of a Genius, and The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí. The AI can emulate Dalí’s unique speech style and inventive responses.

Dalí’s voice, given in heavily-accented English, depicts his unusual nature and enigmatic method of communication, as memorably expressed in his reaction to being asked if he was mad: “Dalí is almost crazy.” The only distinction between mad people and Dalí is that Dalí is not crazy.

Since its premiere on April 11, 2024, coinciding with Dalí’s 120th birthday, the exhibit has received over 3,000 queries from visitors. These inquiries span from interpretations of his works, such as the melting clocks, to existential questions about life, love, and death.

The AI frequently mentions Dalí’s wife, Gala, especially when addressing love.

“Ask Dalí” is part of the museum’s ongoing endeavor to integrate technology into its exhibits, following earlier installations like “Dalí Lives” and “Dream Tapestry.” This endeavor reflects Dalí’s personal interest in emerging technology and scientific breakthroughs throughout his lifetime.

The exhibit not only engages visitors with Dalí’s work but also explores the convergence between art and technology, embodying the spirit of innovation that Dalí championed.