ZKM-Chatbot-Project »As We May Speak« receives funding

Graphical arrangement of colored blocks in a line structure in a black room

ZKM sets new standards for culture with technologies such as machine learning and speech recognition 

The Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts Baden-Württemberg supports the Chatbot project »As We May Speak. Kulturelle Wissensvermittlung durch Chatbots« [Cultural Knowledge Transfer via Chatbots] of the ZKM for two years as part of the program »Digitale Wege ins Museum II« [Digital Paths to the Museum II] with a sum of 193,000 EUR. With this program, the Ministry is supporting the »Opening of the Museum to New Audiences« with a total sum of over 3 million euros. All eleven state museums in Baden-Württemberg and the ZKM were eligible to apply.

»With its project, the ZKM shows in an impressive way how manifold the paths are that digitization offers to art. With the Chatbot project, everyone – even from home – can participate and experience a new kind of digital museum visit.«

Petra Olschowski, state secretary

With the chatbot project »As We May Speak«, the ZKM is further developing the potential of chatbots for cultural knowledge transfer. The chatbot is not only installed on messaging platforms (Messenger, Telegram etc.), but is also available on the website and on steles in the ZKM foyer. From summer 2020, the chatbot will answer service questions and guide the visitor through the website and the ZKM collection, »Writing the History of the Future«. By optimizing all data for machine readability, the project will also enable the foundations to be laid for future digital projects. The ZKM is thus reacting to a technical paradigm shift: the spread of Conversational User Interfaces (CUI).

The funding program »Digital Paths into Museums« of the State of Baden-Württemberg

Digitization and the opening of museums to the generation of »digital natives« is one of the main concerns of the Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts. Against this background, digital@bw has launched the »Digital Paths into Museums« funding line to support the state museums in shaping their digital future. Chatbots and gamification in art museums, virtual time travels and digital libraries in the state museums – these and other digital educational projects are currently being implemented within the framework of this funding program. With a volume of over 3 million euros, this funding line for the digital opening of the state museums to new visitor groups is unique in Germany and will enter a second round in 2018/19.