Putting the “Art” in Artificial Intelligence
Preparing for the Future
When you think of a museum, what comes to mind? Maybe dinosaur exhibits, posters of former presidents, ancient artifacts, or stone sculptures to name a few?
Museums have long been sites where people go to see and learn about the past—exhibitions around the world display an array of art, science, and historical moments and discoveries. And while there is always information that can be extracted about our present and future from these exhibits, it is also important to showcase impactful technologies that are actively shaping our present and future lives. Today, that technological avenue encompasses the revolutionary capabilities of artificial intelligence (AI).
As AI continues to change the world in a variety of ways, it is important for people from all walks of life to learn and understand the science behind these impressive technologies. Today, museums around the world have started implementing AI exhibits of their own, highlighting the importance of showcasing AI technology and what it means for our future.
AI Exhibits in Museums Around the World
Museum of Science, Boston
Just this past September, the Museum of Science in Boston, Massachusetts announced the opening of their brand-new, permanent exhibition, Exploring AI: Making the Invisible Visible. Created by the museum itself—which is one of the largest science centers in the world—this exhibit allows visitors to learn about the various ways that AI is opening doors and creating opportunities for some of the greatest advancements in history and explore how these technologies are becoming part of our daily lives. One of the features of the exhibition includes the mobile robot from Boston Dynamics known as Spot. Visitors will be able to see how Spot uses AI to travel along uneven terrains and unique obstacles. Another feature will allow visitors to train their own AI program using different data sets of images and sounds, which will help them understand how machine learning works. This exhibit is located in the Blue Wing on the first level of the museum, and you can access it with your general admission ticket.
National Gallery of the Faroe Islands
Known as “Listasavn Føroya” in Faroese, the National Gallery of the Faroe Islands two months ago became the first national gallery to ever feature a show that has been completely produced by AI. In late September, they opened the exhibition Imagine the Faroe Islands to the public, with 40 images entirely created by an AI program. The exhibit allows visitors to step into the shoes of some of the world’s greatest artists like van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, and more. The exhibit explores how these artists would’ve portrayed the land of the Faroe Islands in their own paintings, while also giving visitors the opportunity to understand the power of AI and how it can create unimaginable experiences not only for a better future but also for a clearer understanding of the past. Visitors will also have the opportunity to create their own pieces of art and experiment with AI technology by using the same AI program at computer stations available around the exhibit.
Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe
The ZKM Center for Art and Media in Karlsruhe, Germany collaborated with the Deutsches Museum and the Fraunhofer Institute of Optronics, System Technologies, and Image Exploitation (IOSB) to create the project named Intelligent Museum. The project aims to encourage museum visitors to engage with and learn more about AI by making the technology more accessible to artists and the public in this exhibit. The project follows an approach to AI that focuses on the people in addition to the technology, so the project not only addresses how AI works and its features but also its risks and challenges, like AI-generated bias and discrimination. Through this interactive exhibit, the ZKM hopes to show artists and visitors the true potential of AI and make the museum experience more inclusive.
AI is Making History
Many other museums and galleries have taken initiatives to showcase AI technology, and they, in addition to the ones mentioned above, are worth the visit. The new exhibit at the Seattle Museum of History and Industry, AI: Your Mind & the Machine, explores the evolution and potential of AI. The Museum of AI is opening in Denver, Colorado this fall, and it will let visitors dive into the story of AI, including both sides of the debate of whether AI will serve for the better or worse of humanity. Last but definitely not least, is Seoul’s groundbreaking museum, The Robot Science Museum. Opening later this year, the museum will focus on educating on AI technology and robotics. They’re considering the first exhibition to be the construction of the museum itself, which is being built by robots and AI.
The museums mentioned here are just a few from a vast selection of museums and galleries around the world that are starting to include AI in their exhibits. Museums are normalizing and showcasing AI, which not only demonstrates the importance for people to understand how AI works and how it can open doors, but it also demonstrates that AI is shaping our future. Moreover, AI is making history.