More than 500 years after the birth of Michelangelo, a collaborative project between Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore and Querlo LLC has successfully created an artificial intelligence version of the Renaissance artist.
The Opera of Santa Maria del Fiore was founded by the Florentine Republic in 1296 and aims to protect, promote and enhance the artistic heritage of Florence Cathedral. Querlo LLC, on the other hand, helps cultural institutions and businesses to enter the digital age by harnessing the power of technology and AI.
Michelangelo AI is an educational tool that helps people to understand the artist’s life. The tool aims to education about Florence Cathedral, Brunelleschi’s Dome and Giotto’s bell tower, in addition to involving users in restorations, especially the ongoing campaign to restore the mosaics in the Baptistery. The tool was created by art historians of the Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, led by Monsignor Timothy Verdon, director of the Opera del Duomo Museum.
Michelangelo’s Pietà Bandini or the Opera del Duomo, Museum of the Opera del Duomo, Florence (Italy). Courtesy: Opera di Santa Maria del Fiore, photo Alena Fialová
The idea behind Michelangelo AI was born out of the pandemic. Global restrictions have had a devastating impact on the arts, which “prevents people from having the chance to visit priceless cities such as Florence,” says Monsignor Verdon. “Bringing Michelangelo back to life helps us narrow this gap, allowing virtual visitors to engage with one of the greatest souls of our society.”
The AI Michelangelo learns from conversations to further develop his skills, constantly adding to his vocabulary and knowledge. For example, the AI mentions Donatello, the artist whom he most admires, and also recalls his first important public commissions for the Duomo.