The Landscape of AI & Robotic Guides in Museums & Cultural Places
Each passing day, Museum and Cultural Places visitors’ lives are subtly shaped by AI-driven technologies. In this smartphone glutted world, there lies a huge challenge for both the Museums and Cultural places to attract visitors. The question arises, What is the role of AI in a Museum?
To learn more about visitors, manage visitor experience and collect relevant data for boosting the traffic and developing future growth strategies, Museums and Cultural Places across the globe are using artificial intelligence in several ways. The most commonly used modes of AI are - Robots & Chatboxes, Computer Visions and Natural language processing amongst others. Unlike traditional methods of managing generic data once a year, Museums rely on structured data to benefit both the visitors and the employees. Owing to a boost in technology today, the landscape of Artificial Intelligence in Museums is seen to thrust and provide appreciably efficient solutions to everyday challenges.
Robots that mimic human-like expressions, such as Pepper, paves the way for enhanced engagement, thereby facilitating the visitor experience. Here are the 3 ways in which a humanoid robot is changing the view of artificial intelligence in a Museum across the globe:
1. Breaking down language barriers
Museums are tourist attractions and are known to have a significant position in every tourist’s itinerary! Since Museums see a large number of tourists from all over the world, it becomes important to break down language barriers. Pepper, our humanoid robot, comes with 21 language options and is widely known to improve linguistic communication to share knowledge about culture, art and science efficiently to the visitors in a Museum.
One such case at the Smithsonian National Museum of African Art in Washington is indeed a great example of Pepper’s supremacy in eliminating the language roadblock for international visitors. Pepper was helping visitors better understand how art from southeast Africa had a major influence on global culture for a new exhibit, "World on the Horizon Swahili Arts Across the Indian Ocean" and Pepper was there as a high-tech guide! The southeastern part of Africa, where the artwork in “World on the Horizon” was created, is home to a vibrant, Swahili-speaking trading economy that exchanges often-written cultural ideas through the transaction of artistic goods. Pepper’s multi-linguistic skills have helped visitors to think about the continent and its work of art quite differently, and all this in Swahili!
2. Providing a high-tech welcome - even for children
It is widely agreed, the first impression is the last! Cultural places’ ‘welcome’ have been quite an ordeal. To confront the challenge faced by cultural places, Pepper has been actively providing high-tech welcome with its proactive greeting system with its embedded sensors to boost engagement and attract young visitors.
Recently, “Cité des Sciences & de l’Industrie”, the Science Museum in Paris, has distinctively used the high tech welcome. An application called “Interrupt dialogue” offers visitors the possibility to access the desired information very quickly. The application enables children, who are prone to not listen to the speech of a robot but navigate the buttons on Pepper without it finishing the speech. This has given an added boost to the welcome feature of Pepper. Both adults and children are seen to be more interested in talking to the robot/using the tablet on the robot to facilitate interaction that deepens connection and increases engagement. This high-tech welcome has changed the way visitors interact with the welcome staff before, thus making it considerably successful! With a floor area of 150,00 and the possibility of getting lost, having a humanoid robot like Pepper is certainly advantageous for the museum.
3. Guiding the visitors with a touch of emotion and surprise
It is a rare scene to have a humanoid robot as a guide, yet there has been no doubt of the benefits it can have! The product of pure artificial intelligence, Pepper can answer numerous questions about a facility, provide directions to the visitors and give you personalised recommendations.
In today’s day, the internet has replaced the importance of libraries as a repository for knowledge. To combat this challenge, Pepper is helping City Library in Hannover to attract and guide the visitors in a unique way. Promoting the idea of working together as a team in a library, Pepper is also helping the visitors in directions, personalised recommendations, and arousing interests in technology to make libraries an interesting place to be!
Another example is of Pepper - nicknamed “Guydit” - at the European Museum of Modern Art at Barcelona has replaced the audiotapes for the narratives of the Museum with a humanoid robot to ‘humanize’ the narratives of the Museum. "Pepper tells anecdotes that amuse visitors and make them understand art," says José Manuel Infiesta, Director of the European Museum of Modern Art. He adds, "Pepper has delighted 80% of users during the two months in which he has been on the test” which is a significant impact made by our star, Pepper at a private Museum. This project was managed by our technological partner Yasyt in Barcelona.
Watch the video of Pepper at European Art Museum here!
If not the audiotapes, we’ve usually seen human guides in the Museum. Innovation has led to seeking unique ways to guide the visitors in Museums. At Heinz Nixdorf Museum, Pepper guides visitors to selected exhibition areas and explains the exhibits to them. Uniquely positioned to guide visitors, Pepper is indeed a source of information with a humanly touch to elevate the way Museums have been using artificial intelligence in today’s modern world!
When visitors walk into the Museums or Cultural places, they expect art, cultural objects and other display items which are usually made to be admired from a distance. It is a rare sight for most of the Museums and Cultural places to have a robot that can be touched and proactively engage with your visitors! In addition to this, the robot can also be a touchpoint and behave like your own staff by promoting the Museum, recommending products/ services, talking about promotional deals or even recommending personalised services. What more? You can integrate any type of software to make our socially assertive robot, your own! The future of artificial intelligence could open more doors of possibilities for better visitor experience at Museums and Cultural places. Would you like to own a Pepper for your Museum/Cultural Place? Contact us now!