Tour Akron Art Museum with Dot the Chatbot

We're super excited about our chatbot project with the Akron Art Museum. The chatbot helps visitors explore the museum's collection with the guidance of a smartphone-based tour guide called "Dot."

A new experience for museum-goers, this isn't your run-of-the-mill tour where all visitors must follow the same path around the galleries. Dot takes visitors through the museum's permanent collection where visitors design their own tour by choosing what they are interested in seeing next.

At each stop on the tour, Dot gives visitors fun opportunities to explore the artwork and also provides discussion prompts to encourage interaction among the tour group. Once the discussion is complete, Dot will ask a question to determine where to guide you next.

Dot's tone is very conversational and she isn't afraid to use animated gifs, emoji, or vernacular phrases.

"Dot's tone is conversational, and she isn't afraid to use animated gifs, emoji, or vernacular phrases. "She's smart, she's sassy, and she uses artworks at the Akron Art Museum to get you talking with your friends about art and life and the connections between the two." – Steven Litt, Cleveland Plain Deadler

Read Cleveland Plain Dealer art & architecture critic Steven Litt's take on Dot.

The project was funded by a Knight Foundation grant that supports projects that deepen the use of technology to engage and attract audiences to the arts; Akron Art Museum was one of only four institutions in the nation to receive this funding. We worked with the museum to ideate the concept, built the chatbot, edited the content and "dialog" to give it a current and distinctive voice, and directed the production of a kiosk video to help visitors learn to use Dot.

Akron Art Museum recieved a grant for Dot but chatbots are surprisingly affordable and can make a significant impact on engagement. Are you interested in using a chatbot at your museum? Connect with us and we'd be happy to chat about how we can help.

Katelyn says the best of all chemistry constants is 6.02x10 to the 23rd power, and who are we to argue? A rare combination of mathematician, athlete, and artist, she holds a master’s degree in accountancy, runs marathons for fun, and plays the heck out of Chopin’s Revolutionary Étude for piano. When she’s not managing our production schedule, she enjoys walking her dog, reading tiny dictionaries and making lemon macaroons. She once broke a picnic table with her head and she's a fan of words, Warren Buffett, and the number 20,710.

Photo: David G. Kanzeg

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We are helping new nonprofit Oberlin Center for the Arts fulfill its mission to connect the community with the arts. In addition to designing the logo and brand guide, we created a suite of interconnected websites for OCA and its founding member organizations; the sites seamlessly share and cross-pollinate content to help raise awareness and encourage patrons to attend more arts events classes and classes.

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