AI Connections Table

BluecadetUnited States of America

Connecting, Empowering

Production / Professional

Team

Brett Renfer, Lillian Preston, Troy LaChance

Overview

The Henry Ford of Museum American Innovation wanted to give guests a peek into the sometimes messy, always interesting mind of a museum curator. We built them a device that turns searching through a database into a playful experience. The AI Connections Table is a touch-table for exploring the museum’s collection. It marries curator-created concepts with surprising AI-driven discoveries, illuminating connections between objects across the museum’s digital collection. The work began with the museum curators who made 2,000+ connections between objects organized by 80+ topics (“death”, “knock-offs” and “hero worship” were some favorites!). Bluecadet employed an AI to find new and unexpected connections. Finally, we combined the curator-led and AI insights into a single explorable web of interconnected objects. The AI Connections Table is part of Intersections of Innovation, an exhibition at The Henry Ford. Situated at a literal crossroads within the museum, Intersections helps guests unlock the stories of innovation across the museum’s many collection areas including the Industrial Revolution, agriculture, and mobility. The table adds an interactive component to the exhibition and helps users decide what part of the museum to visit next. As The Henry Ford’s digital collection grows, so do connections on the Table. Because the Table is directly integrated with the museum’s collection management software, new artifacts and connections appear the moment they are digitized.

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