The Museums + AI Network was a 12 month action research project funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (UK). Our initial research took place between 2019 – 2020, with subsequent dissemination and facilitation in academic and museum contexts.
The project was led by Dr Oonagh Murphy and Dr Elena Villaespesa.
Through a series of industry workshops in London, New York and San Diego, the network facilitated in depth discussions designed to open up debate around the key parameters, methods and paradigms of AI in a museum context.
AI is becoming an increasingly pressing concern for many large museums who are beginning to experiment with its potential to provide new ways to engage with audiences, visitors, art and objects.
AI technologies including machine learning, predictive analytics and others, bring exciting possibilities of knowing more about visitors and collections. However, these technologies also raise important ethical questions for museums. With an increasing awareness and regulations about data usage in wider society, museums, must approach AI with both caution and fervour. As such exploring, critiquing and understanding the ethical implications of AI within a museum context is increasingly becoming a pressing need for museums.
This network created a forum to facilitate these core questions, with a view to influencing museum practice in this area for years to come, the network will create an ethically robust professional framework, to support museums who are keen to engage with the possibilities of these technologies, develop new audiences and increase access to their collections.
Since our active research concluded we have produced a series of publications, delivered talks at international conferences and began to share its findings through museum professional and academic networks. Please do visit our writing and speaking page, and toolkit page to see what materials are currently available.
The Network is funded by: