Center for the Future Of Museums Blog

Chat with AndyBot at AAM 2018

Graphic image of Andybot with Summer Adventure Chatbot to the left havnd side with Andy in front of the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh in the background.

In today’s guest post, Regina McDonald Russian, Digital Accessibility & UX Specialist, and Caroline Record, Creative Technologist at the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh Innovation Studio, primes you to visit the demonstration the Studio has organized for the Alliance Resource Center in MuseumExpo at the AAM annual meeting in Phoenix, May 6-9.

The CMP Studio works at the intersection of culture and technology to transform Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh for the future. We are committed to moving the museums beyond the special occasion visit and to integrating the museums into visitors’ everyday lives through playful digital experiences. Our past creations include a museum-themed alarm clock app and an interactive installation at the Pittsburgh International Airport. Almost a year ago, we embarked on designing and developing a new kind of mobile experience. Through this project we wanted to investigate how the museums can learn from the low adoption rate of traditional museum mobile apps and find new strategies to leverage mobile to engage visitors.

Our preliminary research led us to land on making a chatbot –a computer program designed to simulate conversation with human users. Chatbots have the additional advantage that they can operate via widely-used messenger apps on a mobile device instead of requiring users to download and open a specialized app. We completed a literature review and landscape analysis, examining chatbots both inside and outside museums, followed by an extensive field-study across our own museums. This field-study supported our initial research, demonstrating that less than 2 percent of the 300 visitors we talked to had any museum mobile app on their device, but over 98 percent had sent text messages during their visit.

Graphic map of Pittsburgh with Member Summer Adventure printed.

We have partnered with the Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh Summer Adventure initiative to create a gamified museum experience by enhancing an established program with a digital chatbot component. The Summer Adventure initially began in 2013 and has engaged museum members every summer using a printed map. Members collect stamps by attending events at the four Carnegie Museums throughout the summer earn the chance to win prizes at an End-Of-Summer Celebration.

Blue graphic image with Andybot and butterflies with a speech bubble that says "Hello".

Enter the Summer Adventure’s new digital guide, AndyBot! This Facebook Messenger bot will guide participants through on and off-site experiences, finding activities, and collecting stamps at all four museums. We collaborated with the museums’ Advancement and Community Engagement team to bring to life a contemporary version of Andrew Carnegie: a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, and founder of Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh. AndyBot will augment the existing analog experience by empowering members and non-members and promote further museum engagement.

Andybot giving a thumbs up with the Alliance logo. The Studio has been invited to demo the chatbot at American Alliance of Museums annual conference. We will showcase the core functionality, such as the onboarding process and object-centered activities. You will be able to find one of our team members at the Alliance Resource Center in MuseumExpo. Booth hours are:

Monday, May 7, 2018: 12PM-5:30PM

Tuesday, May 8, 2018: 10AM-5:30PM

Wednesday, May 9, 2018: 8AM-12PM

We will be also presenting at the Alliance Showcase area at the following days/times:

Monday, May 7, 2018: 2PM-3PM

Tuesday, May 8, 2018: 2PM-3PM

Wednesday, May 9, 2018: 10AM-11AM

Stop by and say hello!

Research, design, development and open-sourcing of the CMP Innovation Studio’s chatbot project is supported by the Knight Foundation.

Visual map image of downtown Pittsburgh.Analog version of the adventure map

 

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