A Multimedia Guide for the National Gallery of Ireland
The aim of this project is to demonstrate a meaningful use for machine learning technology. To this end, an application was developed as a multimedia guide for the National Gallery of Ireland. The application uses image recognition technology to recognize paintings in the gallery and provide the user with corresponding information.
Despite its current popularity and growing ubiquity, machine learning remains a relatively new and unexplored field in computing. For this project, an application was developed as a proof of concept that machine learning can significantly contribute to enhancing the user experience of visitors in art galleries and museums. In particular the project investigates the field of image recognition, as achieved via convolutional neural networks. Based on this research, an iOS app was developed as a multimedia guide for the National Gallery of Ireland. The app uses image recognition to recognize paintings in the gallery and provides gallery visitors with information and commentary on those paintings. The app was conceived as a modern alternative to conventional museum audio guides, one that takes advantage of the latest advances in machine learning technology and mobile computing to provide a greater level of enjoyment, convenience and education to museum visitors.
The project succeeded in demonstrating a meaningful application for machine learning. By meeting user demand for a museum guide that presents information visually, as opposed to conventional audio guides, the project proves that machine learning can be valuable in enhancing the visitor experience in art galleries and museums. User testing produced extremely positive results, with users finding the image recognition functionality to be a useful and intuitive way of accessing information about paintings.