Museums are complex organisms that may play a crucial role in today’s society. In particular, archaeological museums may act as a multi-directional bridge connecting objects and people, past and present, material culture and immaterial information, people from diverse origins and background, interior and exterior of the building that hosts collection and visitors.
In order to activate these possible connections, museums must actively engage in finding new ways to collect and allow information to circulate. AI4ME (Artificial Intelligence for Museum Experience) is a project based on Museo Egizio, Torino: its overall aim is to investigate how to (re)connect scattered information and convey them into an efficient communication channel focusing on visitors; its practical result will be the executive project of an app able to interact with the museum’s visitors by guiding them along the exhibition area and, at the same time, allow them to choose their personal path among the mass of available information.
In perspective, AI4ME aims at laying the basis of the use of Artificial Intelligence to assist the visitors of a museum from the beginning to the end of their experience. None of these two points correspond to the physical entry and exit from the museum’s building: the beginning corresponds to the initial choice to visit that museum, and the end to the moment in which the visitors summarise and restitute their personal experience, that is, to the assessment of the personal gain that they experienced during their visit.
In practical terms, AI4ME aims at designing the core of an app that is meant to accompany the visitors along a specific sector of the collection, that is, the rooms dedicated to the ancient Egyptian village of Deir al-Medina, inhabited by the workmen that quarried and decorated the royal tombs of the Valley of the Kings, and to the burial of the chief builder Kha and his wife Merit, the only complete funerary set to be found outside of Egypt. The app will allow visitors to design their own path across the mass of objects that are on display in these two rooms and will represent a first experiment to be later extended to other parts of the museum’s collection. Such an operation can only work if, since the beginning, all the variables relating to the big picture are taken into account.
This project springs from a joint idea of Museo Egizio and Politecnico di Milano with the crucial contribution of Politecnico di Torino, but its detailed programme has been designed in full collaboration with the students who joined the enterprise: the personal expertise of each participant has been taken into account to design the structure of the activities and the areas to be addressed in detail.
Principal Academic Tutor:
Corinna Rossi (Politecnico di Milano)
Tania Cerquitelli (Politecnico di Torino)
Francesca Lori (Politecnico di Milano)
Riccardo Antonino (Politecnico di Torino)
Enrico Ferraris (Museo Egizio, Torino)
Samanta Isaia (Museo Egizio, Torino)