2016

Art-Bots: The museum as a conversational interface.

In collaboration with Stavros Vassos, Federica dal Falco, Jessica Di Maggio, Manlio Massimetti, Maria Giulia Nocentini, and Angela Testa 



We present the first museum related art-bot, Mario Praz, as a first step toward a modern exhibition method that: is not
invasive to the museum setting; allows for an engaging communication through the familiar chat interface; conveys hidden information about the exhibits in an intuitive way inside casual conversations; and provides a user friendly way to receive feedback in a gamified manner.


The Mario Praz Museum


Our Facebook art-bot impersonates the collector Mario Praz and is able to converse with guests and visitors in the Mario Praz museum in Rome, Italy. The museum features ten rooms with more than 1200 collectibles dating from late 18th century and the first half of the 19th century.

Each object is connected to the other by analogy and story, and follows a precise narrative linked to an era, artistic period, and the life of collector Mario Praz himself. With our art-bot we aim to reveal the intricate and "hidden" stories behind the life of Mario Praz, by allowing direct conversation with an automated chatbot persona on Facebook. 


   


While these dialogues are mainly used to convey information about the background story of items, parallel stories in the guise of "small talk' are used to expand the agents conversational repertoire. Moreover, Mario Praz art-bot has its own first person conversational tone. The immediacy of a first-person narrative gives visitors direct access to the intimate thoughts and feelings of the protagonist, promoting a closer relationship between visitor/guide and subject/character.  


  

 

The art-bot prompts visitors to ask questions, challenges them to carefully observe artworks and contemplate about artifacts. These prompt the visitor to wander in the rooms of the museum or the online guest to browse through the photo galleries on the Facebook wall of Mario Praz art-bot.



Conversation flow & chatbot

For the Mario Praz Museum we decided to focus on developing interactive experiences that happen throug Facebook chat, in order to use the famous social network as a Touch Point for the Museum. The creation of a Facebook page, and a Facebook application connected to it allows to communicate with the Api.ai platform that run the conversation. You can try here: http:/m.me/marioprazchat






Mark