The Met x Microsoft x MIT: What can Artificial Intelligence do with Art?

The Metropolitan Museum of Art x Microsoft, and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) revealed yesterday the results of a recent collaboration— The Met x Microsoft x MIT — that imagines the new ways in which global audiences can engage with one of the world’s foremost art collections through artificial intelligence technologies. The collaboration is represented through a portfolio of prototypes, in various stages of development, each of which provides new perspectives on how artificial intelligence could transform future connections between people and art.

The Met x Microsoft x MIT collaboration marks the second anniversary of The Met’s Open Access Program, which has made the Museum’s collection one of the most accessible, discoverable, and useful on the internet by making all Creative Commons Zero (CC0) data and 406,000 high-res images from The Met collection available for use without restriction.

“The Met’s vast collection covers 5,000 years of art and culture from around the world, and it is our mission to create multiple means for people to engage with this remarkable resource, both onsite and online,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Metropolitan Museum of Art. “This exciting collaboration with Microsoft and MIT demonstrates the potential of open data and artificial intelligence to digitally broaden access to hundreds of thousands of images and scholarly records, and demonstrates the continually expanding impact of the Open Access Program.”

From the collaboration, 5 final products came to life [more information about each project, here]

1) {Artwork of the Day}

Artwork of the Day uses Microsoft AI to find the artwork in The Met collection that will resonate with you today, (via your Alexa or Cortana).
Every day, Artwork of the Day will return a new entry point into The Met collection through an artwork that is relevant in the context of world events and your current circumstances.

2) {My Life, My Met}

My Life, My Met uses AI to turn your Instagram feed into a work of art.
The project will use Microsoft AI to analyze your posts from Instagram and substitute the images with the closest matching Open Access artworks from The Met collection.

3) {Storyteller}

Storyteller uses Microsoft AI to choose artworks in The Met collection that illustrate any story you might want to tell, or any conversation you might be having.
Storyteller uses voice recognition AI to follow the discussion and share artworks from The Met collection that resonate with the stories being told. The story can be personal, whimsical, or a serious oral history. After the person or group finishes the story or discussion, they can share the Storyteller thread of artworks through social media, have the AI generate a tour based on the artworks that were selected, or even compile the works into a ready-to-print book.

4) {Tag, That’s It!}

Tag, That’s It! partners humans with machines to increase the accessibility of The Met collection for the millions of people interacting across the Wikimedia platforms.
Subject keyword data is integral to helping people discover and connect with works of art most relevant to them. This requires accurately identifying which artworks contain which objects of interest: fashion, games, children, chess, calligraphy and, of course, cats.

5) {Gen Studio}

Gen Studio uses Microsoft AI to allow you to visually and creatively navigate the shared features and dimensions underlying The Met’s Open Access collection. Within the Gen Studio is a tapestry of experiences based on sophisticated generative adversarial networks (GANs) which allow you to explore, search, and even be immersed within the latent space underlying The Met’s encyclopedic collection.

Watch video teaser below: