Barbican debuts chatbot to support new AI exhibition

Tyrone Stewart

Barbican Centre AI chatbotThe Barbican Centre, a leading London-based performance arts centre, has teamed up with martech agency Byte to launch a chatbot in support of its latest exhibition.

The Facebook Messenger chatbot complements the AI: More than Human exhibition, which kicked off today (16 May) and will run until 26 August as part of the Barbican’s ‘Life Rewired’ season.

“Marketing an AI exhibition, we felt we simply had to incorporate an element of AI into the campaign in some way. Byte stood out due to the team’s enthusiasm for the project and the exhibition, and their expertise producing creative, personality-driven chatbots,” David Lally, marketing manager for international enterprises at the Barbican, told Mobile Marketing.

Rachel Williams, Barbican content manager, added: “AI is often discussed in an academic way, we wanted our chatbot to present the ‘human’ side of AI by provoking and challenging expectations about it in unexpected ways. We hope visitors will enjoy learning about AI in this new way and that it will offer an ideal extension of the exhibition for those unable to attend – or who want to keep on discovering after their visit.”

Appearing on both the Barbican’s website and Facebook page, the chatbot has been designed to stimulate conversations around the role of AI in society. It focuses conversation around four themes from the exhibition, including ‘Why are you afraid of AI?’, ‘Does data discriminate?’, ‘Who’s driving the car?’, and ‘What makes us human?’.

“We are extremely excited to see the launch of our chatbot to support this provocative and inspiring exhibition tackling questions at the forefront of our relationship with AI,” said Jamie Kenny, Byte co-founder.

The AI: More than Human exhibition explores how the ongoing development of artificial intelligence changing our lives and what it means to be human. The exhibition hosts research projects by DeepMind, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Neri Oxman, as well as exhibits and installations from Mario Klingemann, Massive Attack, Es Devlin, and teamLab.

*This article has been updated to include David Lally and Rachel Williams' comments.