Microsoft and MIT are bringing AI to the Metropolitan Museum of Art

The project takes advantage of The Met’s Open Access art database

Microsoft has teamed up with MIT and NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on a series of AI-based projects aimed at democratizing the museum’s vast collection of artwork.

Groups of participants from MIT where afforded access to Microsoft’s suite of AI tools, as well as The Met’s ‘Open Access Program’ for the project. The Open Access Program is a freely available database housing nearly a half-million high-res images from the collection, many of the items in the collection date back over 5,000 years.

Using Microsoft’s Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Search, Azure Kubernetes Service, Microsoft Machine Learning for Apache Spark, conversational AI, and custom ML models, students were to come up with unique ways to leverage these images.

For example, one project, known as ‘Art Work of the Day’, uses AI to find art that’s in some way personalized to you. Let’s assume the AI knows you’re into Ancient Mayan civilizations, well, in that case, it’s designed to comb the vast Open Access database to find related pictures.

Another interesting project called ‘Storyteller’ is designed to listen for certain keywords as a person tells a story. In real time, said keywords are fed to the AI, which again explores The Met’s database for relevant pictures, illustrating your story as you speak.

At present, we still don’t know when these projects will become available to the public.