AI for cultural heritage is a move initiated by many institutions, researchers, and organizations together to preserve and enrich cultural heritage. Cultural heritage includes the tangible as well as intangible expression showing the ways of living developed by different communities and passed on from generation to generation including culture, customs, places, objects, values, traditions, beliefs, and artistic expressions.
Artificial Intelligence, the architectural soul of the future can show the ways to preserve distinct cultural heritage for the next generations by empowering different people as well as organizations working on similar causes. Many countries had already initiated using AI for cultural heritage to digitize the information stored in archives and museums and improve the experience of visitors.
Various organizations collaborating in different projects focussed on AI for Cultural Heritage are:
Microsoft has committed $10 million over 5 years to focus on four core areas: People, Language, Places, and Historic artifacts. Microsoft’s recent work focussed on AI for cultural heritage involves the collaboration with the “Metropolitan Museum of Art” and MIT to explore ways AI will be able to make Met’s open-access collection accessible online to 3.9 billion internet-connected people worldwide. Other Microsoft projects include:
- Collaboration with HoloForge interactive and Iconem at Musée des Plans-Reliefs to create museum experience with mixed reality along with AI.
- Collaboration in Mexico for translating Yucatec Maya and Querétaro Otomi using AI.
Intel collaborated with China Foundation for Cultural heritage conservation (CFCHC) joined by Wuhan University’s laboratory of information engineering in surveying, mapping, and remote sensing (LEISMARS) on the preservation of the Great Wall of China using advanced 3D application powered by drones and Artificial intelligence.
Larsen & Turbo (L&T):
The past edition of events like Kumbh Mela in India lost the festive spirit because of accidents where many people claimed their lives. Cutting edge AI technology provided by L&T played a key role in the success of Kumbh Mela 2019. L&T controlled the access points from two command and control centres fed with information from 1100 camera tracking the movement of 25 million people over 2 months. AI assisted authorities to manage the crowd and help visitors to experience a smooth flow of the event.
Intelligent voices of wisdom (IVOW):
IVOW is an AI start-up with a mission to bring the ancient art of storytelling to smart home devices using chatbots that include IVOW’s “Culturally sensitive Deep learning model” trained on different images which as result suggests detailed captions reflecting cultural element of the image.
International Heritage symposium and Exhibition (IHSE):
IHSE was organized by IIT Delhi in collaboration with the Department of science and technology (DST) where communities from diverse disciplines were engaged in conservation, preservation, and management of World Heritage in physical and digital space using various tools and technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Virtual reality, Augmented reality.
The foundation of this event was projected, Indian Digital Heritage which was a unique collaboration between researchers from technology and humanity for digital documentation of both tangible and intangible heritage.
Every country has a distinct and unique culture, history, and language. With the current ever-increasingly globalized world, we all need to act as guardians of the unique cultural heritage which forms the basis of our identities. Only 15% of the world’s heritage is preserved in digital format. Together we all need to collaborate and serve as catalysts for preserving our identities by incorporating AI for cultural heritage and make it accessible for future generations.