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AI Visitor Experience
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AI Visitor Experience

Last week our Associate Director Rachel Kuhn was in Paris for Museum Connections, an annual trade fair that highlights new trends in visitor experiences. The two-day fair provided a comprehensive overview of the latest innovations in the sector, featuring insightful panel discussions, leading suppliers, and a chance to connect with our international industry network.


The conference primarily focused on the business and sustainable challenges of museums, cultural and tourism venues, with a big topic of conversation being how museums across the world are increasingly adopting technology to augment various aspects of the visitor journey. Unsurprisingly, artificial Intelligence (AI) emerged as a key focus area, with a variety of new technologies on display integrating AI into visitor experiences. 


Rethinking the Visitor Experience


One of the central themes was enhancement of the visitor experience through AI. AI-powered 'visitor assistants' like IRIS are being implemented in museums like Rio de Janeiro’s Museum of Tomorrow, adapting content according to the visitor's age, cultural background, and level of understanding - increasing comprehension and engagement with collections.


Other museums have been using AI to track visitors and provide a personalised summary of their visits, helping guide them on how best to continue their experience by providing complimentary material, guidance on other attractions or historical sites to visit, and suggested watch or reading lists. This approach creates an integrated visitor journey, connects the museum experience with broader visitor economy, and promotes greater connection and depth of engagement post visit.


Challenges


While this exciting incorporation of AI in museums is certainly promising, it also brings challenges. Discussions at the conference delved into the considerations necessary to undertake this transformative journey, including the ethical use of personal data and the risk of creating 'filter bubbles'. These personalised information ecosystems, shaped by algorithms, run the risk of limiting exposure to diverse perspectives in a similar way to social media algorithms - raising concerns around enforcing dominant narratives rather than challenging them.


However, the proactive approach of museums in tackling these issues, reflects a thoughtful approach to the integration of AI into museum practice, inspiring confidence in its responsible application.


While AI was a hot topic, a broad spectrum of exciting tech products was on show. Companies like SAOLA Studio, Capture AR(t), and Magic Wall showcased innovative ways to increase engagement with collections and solutions that presented new answers to challenges such as visitor orientation. The tech being showcased underscoring a dynamic period of change as museums strive to deepen experiences within a digital age.

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By BOP Consulting

Rachel Kuhn

Associate Director

Rachel is an Associate Director at BOP, with extensive experience of planning for and launching exciting cultural destinations. She leads much of our Master Planning work, helping clients to realise new programmes, capital projects and shape destinations.

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Rachel Kuhn - Associate Director | BOP Consulting
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Rachel Kuhn

Rachel Kuhn

Associate Director

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