Cultural knowledge communication through chatbots

Bubble with the words "As We May Speak"

What technical and cultural changes do institutions – be they public administration or museums – have to react to today if they not only want to preserve knowledge, but also communicate it? They need to react to the fact that we will increasingly "talk" with the machines.

Already today, numerous chatbots and intelligent personal digital assistants provide us with information and services in conversation. Conversational User Interfaces (CUI) will change the digital landscape in the coming years. In the long run, these "conversational" interfaces will replace search engines as well as websites in many functions. Almost all information provided by websites can be fed into a chatbot and made available via chat or messaging applications.

The project »As We May Speak« responds to this technical paradigm shift, which will change not only industry and commerce, but also public administration and cultural institutions: The ZKM develops chatbots that will answer questions from visitors on the website, on their smartphones and on pillars in the exhibition space. At the same time, the optimisation of the ZKM data with regard to their machine-readability will create structural foundations for the long-term capacity of the institution to act in the digital field.

The project is funded by the »Digitale Wege ins Museum« programme, which was announced for the second time in 2018 as part of the digitalization strategy of the state of Baden-Württemberg digital@bw.

llage with examples of different functions of the chatbot
Organization / Institution
Project team

Technical project management: Daniel Heiss (Museum and Exhibition Technical Services) 
Project Management/User Experience: Anna Zinsser 
Project Management/Research: Jenny Starick (Wissen) 
Design Chatbot-Unit: Martin Mangold (Museum and Exhibition Technical Services)
Development/Research: Janine Burger, Barbara Kiolbassa, Sabine Faller (Museum Communication) 
Text/Research: Natalie Wasiljew, Ulrich Steinberg (Museum Communication) 
External technical development partner: Integr8, Berlin

  • Institute for Applied Informatics and Formal Description Methods (AIFB) of the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
  • Faculty of Informatics and Business Informatics at the Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences

Funded by the »Ministerium für Wissenschaft, Forschung und Kunst« of the State of Baden-Württemberg.