The museum incorporates a wide range of interactive, playful, and informational engagements, inspiring curiosity and wonder. Below is an exploration of a selection of our most innovative interactives:
‘Collaborative Poetry’ is an application that teaches visitors about AI by inviting them to write poetry in collaboration with a GPT-3neural network, trained specifically to compose poetry. Visitors can take turns writing lines of a poem with the interactive AI, who will suggest its own contributions based on the visitor’s input. Once a visitor is happy with the poem, they can add it to the archive, sending it up into the river of poems visualized on the curving displays arcing above the interface.
‘Black Box’ is an interactive that invites visitors to draw a face on a touchscreen. The drawing is then transferred to the surface of a three-layer holographic projection that visualizes the processes a neural network uses to analyze the face and determine what emotion is being expressed. Bluecadet trained the AI for this experience, creating a custom on-line application that captures the thousands of drawings of facial expressions created by the MIT Museum community.
‘Community Wall’ is a playful, generative data visualization of the MIT community, showcasing the radical ideas and innovations that are a hallmark of MIT. At input stations, visitors complete a survey that generates a personal avatar. Each avatar is different, reflecting the fun and quirkiness of MIT not a place, but a “unique collection of exceptional people.” These avatars bounce, play and interact on a large media surface.
‘Model Wall’ is a display that showcases some of the most significant items in the museum’s collection of 1.5 million scientific objects. Seamlessly integrated into the museum’s wall, minimalist motion graphics animate the space between the vitrines and illustrate how the models would have moved or functioned. Visitors can choose to dive deeper by using one of the digital key stations to inquire further about the objects on display.
While the aforementioned interactives represent only a sampling of the experiences Bluecadet developed for this groundbreaking museum, each interactive individually and jointly culminates in a single goal, to embody MIT’s motto: “Mens et Manus” meaning “Mind and Hand.” This motto is a reminder that only through the combination of creative and practical action can we solve problems and build a better future. The MIT Museum is a way to share this motto—and this mission—with the entire world.
Dan King (photography, videography)