Artificial Intelligence in service of art – application from the HackArt hackathon to the Przemiany Festival

Artificial Intelligence in service of art – application from the HackArt hackathon to the Przemiany Festival

The game “Museum Treasures” created by the DS team, including several employees, took first place in the National Museum in Warsaw’s HackArt hackathon. The game was on display at the Przemiany Festival, where this year’s leitmotif was artificial intelligence.

“The National Museum in Warsaw and hackathon is not a combination one sees every day, which makes it interesting”, muses Agata Chęcińska, a data scientist at and member of the DS team.

In hackathons, teams of programming, analysis, creation and research specialists produce innovative solutions in a limited time. These competitions can be organized by companies, state administrations, NGOs and, increasingly, public institutions. In May, the National Museum in Warsaw got in on the act, organizing its programming marathon with a focus on artificial intelligence.

Hunting down the museum’s treasures

The game “Museum Treasure – find hidden details in the paintings!” is designed for parents and children, who can choose their favorite paths through the museum, with names like “animals” or “body parts”, to find their favorite ones. The application brings up fragments of well-known works pre-selected by AI from a digitalized collection housed in the museum. Working by category, the algorithm looks for hands, types of clothes, cuisine or any number of other objects in the paintings. Children then go and find them in the National Museum gallery that houses the items featured. In addition to being good fun, each path awards a badge and prize to those who finish, which will encourage people to visit the museum again and keep discovering new corners.
The game is cut from the same mold as PokemonGo. In this case, instead of creatures in the city, participants seek out specific fragments of images within the museum.

“Artificial intelligence helped in selecting the appropriate fragments from among the museum’s collections”, explains Agata Chęcińska, a data scientist at “Thanks to the challenge, children will look carefully at the pictures, and thanks to the good fun they’ll remember more”.

Future versions of the application will allow visitors to play individually, or in groups that can then compare the time it took members to find all of the treasures.

“HackArt MNW was the first hackathon organized by an art museum in Poland with the help of our partner, the Polish Development Fund Foundation. 40 participants and over 20 mentors took part. The projects submitted during the hackathon exceeded our expectations, with their creativity and advanced use of technology”, says Ewa Drygalska, of the museum’s Communications and Public Programs Department, and coordinator of HackArt MNW. “The ‘Museum Treasures’ project captivated us and the jurors because it helps our visitors explore the museum’s collections in an interesting and original way”.

Transforming art

A demo version of the game was available in the AI Showroom at the Przemiany Festival. The theme of this year’s festival was artificial intelligence and its impact on people’s everyday lives.

“There is a lot of emotion surrounding AI, particularly with questions about its safety and role in society”, explains Chęcińska. “Our application shows that in many cases such fears are unjustified, because AI is only playing the role of servant and the real value is rooted elsewhere. This is an excellent example of how AI supports and develops an institution that may not be associated with innovation. I hope that thanks to the use of our application, children will see the National Museum in Warsaw as a fun place, and that visiting it will be perceived as a great way to spend time on the weekend”, Chęcińska says.



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