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Artbot Engineers the Discovery of Art

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The MIT Graduate Arts Forum at the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum.

The Artbot app enables users to select their interests while scraping data from museum websites to find artists, movements, and events.

Credit: Arts at MIT

Researchers in the Comparative Media Studies/Writing's HyperStudio research group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have developed Artbot, a mobile website app that mines both user preferences and event tags to provide connections to the local art scene.

Artbot enables users to select their interests from a wide-ranging list, and collects data from museum websites to find artists, movements, and themes that link events to each other in various ways. Artbot then cross-references the data collected with the user's preferences to generate event recommendations.

"While digital media can provide ways to discover art online, our project aims to put people directly in front of works of art," according to the researchers.

The project is designed to encourage a greater understanding and appreciation of art. Artbot was designed using open source software and is itself an open source application, which should enable other museums and cities to easily modify it.

"Our mission is to come up with very innovative approaches and development models that can be applied in different domains," says HyperStudio executive director Kurt Fendt. "This is typical of what we do at HyperStudio. We make our work open source so we can contribute to work going on in the field and to digital humanities at large."

From MIT News
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