Beth Harrison & Shan Jin, ITP Alumni, Create "Hello Dalí" Museum Exhibit

Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Lobster Telephone

The Dalí Museum's "Ask Dalí" exhibit centers on a physical telephone inspired by Dalí's famous "Lobster Telephone" sculpture. Photo: Courtesy Dalí Museum

On April 11th, a month before what would have been the artist's 120th birthday, the Dalí Museum's "Ask Dalí" opened to the public. The installation centers on a physical telephone inspired by Dalí's famous "Lobster Telephone" sculpture. Picking it up connects museum visitors to an AI chatbot that's powered by several machine learning models, including OpenAI's GPT-4 AI, and when visitors ask a question--much as they'd type in a prompt to ChatGPT--they'll hear an answer spoken by the AI, but delivered in a clone of Dalí's actual voice.

The museum installation was created by San Francisco ad agency Goodby, Silverstein & Partners (GSP) and uses the museum's source material from Dalí himself, including his writings,  to train the AIs, according to the agency's director of creative tech and AI, Martin Pagh Ludvigsen, who described the exhibit in response to emailed questions. 

Two years ago, ITP alum Beth Harrison joined the Dalí Museum in St. Petersburg to oversee their digital experience initiatives, many of which have been created by GSP. Last year, while working on the Dream Tapestry project, she discovered that Shan Jin, the person responsible for all of the interaction design & development was an ITP alum as well.

This month, Shan was back at the museum with the GSP team, developing their newest AI creation “Ask Dali”. Read more about their work here.

Two people interacting with a lobster phone

(Left) Beth Harrison, (Right) Shan Jin

About the artists:

In the dynamic world of technology and innovation, the stories of Shan Jin and Beth Harrison intersect in a tale of creativity and collaboration, both rooted in ITP, their shared alma mater. Shan, class of 2016, embarked on a journey that led her from the halls of ITP to the bustling corridors of the New York Times before finding her niche at Goodby Silverstein and Partners (GSP) in San Francisco, where she currently serves as a Creative Technologist.

Meanwhile, Beth's ITP journey began on 9/11 in 2001, shaping her steadfast commitment to emerging tech, she spent most of her post-ITP career working on advanced technology initiatives for the cable TV industry. Beth & Shan’s paths converged serendipitously at the Dali Museum in St. Petersburg, Florida, where Beth oversees digital experiences, many created by GSP & Shan Jin. 

In recent years Beth & Shan collaborated on groundbreaking projects that blend art and technology in captivating ways such as  The Dream Tapestry, and Ask Dali, which allows Museum visitors an opportunity to converse with an AI recreated Salvador Dali via his famous lobster telephone. 

Shan's accolades, from Innovation Lead by Campaign US to recognition as one of the Rising Stars of Madison Avenue, underscore her pioneering spirit.

Both Shan and Beth credit their time at ITP for shaping their careers and fostering a spirit of innovation. From the halls of academia to the forefront of digital creativity, their journey exemplifies the enduring legacy of ITP in shaping visionary technologists. As proud alumni, they continue to push boundaries and inspire with their shared passion for utilizing new technologies as tools to create experiences that engage and delight museum visitors.