Research project

Chatbots in the Gallery

Project overview

WSI Pilot Project
This project aims to explore the use of conversational agents or chatbot applications in an art gallery setting.

The use of audio-visual media devices to orient, guide, inform and entertain museum and gallery goers is well-established, from audio guides to interactive screens for information or playful engagement in museums and galleries, and currently a great deal of investment in XR approaches (Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Mixed Reality) is evident. Meanwhile, the past year has accelerated development of a new awareness among cultural institutions that their interpretive provision needs to take greater account of audiences’ diverse sensory and somatic experiences, and that meaningful efforts to develop new audiences require innovative as well as inclusive approaches to exhibition interpretation and access.

Working with the John Hansard Gallery, we will prototype a portable or wearable system that will engage and guide the visitor through voice-based interaction, offering a playful and accessible mode of engagement with art and museum exhibitions. Taking AI and the Internet of Things rather than interactive screens or XR as its starting point the project will be technically innovative and playful, whilst at the same offering less comfortable or confident gallery visitors a degree of intimacy or privacy in conversing this way, the potential to ask questions using a format familiar from their everyday text-chat interactions.


Lead researcher

Dr Seth Giddings

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Game Studies
  • Digital and Postdigital Media Culture
  • Creative AI and Robotics
Connect with Seth
Other researchers

Dr Sarah Hayden

Associate Professor

Research interests

  • Voice
  • Experimental Poetics
  • Artists' Moving Image
Connect with Sarah

Collaborating research institutes, centres and groups

Research outputs