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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.

"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.

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