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Museums and Artificial Intelligence Network Launches, Dr Oonagh Murphy

Dr Oonagh Murphy, Lecturer in Arts Management at Goldsmiths, University of London has been awarded funding from the AHRC to collaborate with Dr Elena Villaespesa, Pratt Institute, New York to examine the potential impact of AI on Museum practice.

The network will bring together a range of senior museum professionals and prominent academics to develop the conversation around AI, ethics and museums. A conversation that will help to inform funders and senior managers about the opportunities and challenges this technology poses for the sector. 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.

The £60,000 project which is funded by the AHRC has been developed in partnership with The National Gallery (UK), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (US), American Museum of Natural History (US).

Through a series of industry workshops in London, New York and San Diego, network participants will take part in in depth discussions designed to open up debate around the key parameters, methods and paradigms of AI in a museum context.

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 creates 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.


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