Microsoft uses AI to bring the Met's art collection to the web—and your Instagram

Want your Instagram feed to be transformed into literal art? Microsoft says it can be done.

Credit: The Met

Microsoft has teamed with New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art on a series of “hackathon” projects. The projects pair the technology company’s AI expertise with the Met’s collection of artwork to “transform future connections between people and art,” according to Microsoft. 

The “Met x Microsoft x MIT” partnership came out of a collaboration last December, where a two-day hackathon combined Microsoft’s AI technology and the museum’s data. It’s a part of the Met’s Open Access Program, designed to make the museum’s collections more accessible on the Internet. A number of Microsoft Azure cloud services were used, including Azure Cognitive Services, Azure Machine Learning, conversational AI, and more.

Although we don’t know how or when these projects will become publicly available, the five that emerged from the collaboration include:

Artwork of the Day: While Microsoft’s Bing search engine publishes a photograph on its homepage every day, Artwork of the Day is slightly different: It will use AI to find an piece of art in the Met that somehow relates to you, based on information publicly known about you. For instance, if it’s known that your hometown is Chicago, Artwork of the Day might show you a painting of that city. 

Tag, that’s it!: This project suggests pairing humans with machines to crowdsource keywords for works of art that the Met archives, and then using those keywords in conjunction with the Wikimedia platforms to suggest related art when those keywords are called up.

Storyteller: Storyteller will take a different slant on the “Tag!” hack: As a person is telling a story out loud, Microsoft’s conversational AI will listen in for keywords and select art to illustrate the story, as it’s being told. Microsoft envisions that the resulting stream of images could be shared on social media or printed.

Gen studio: Images are the medium of this hack, where each image is analyzed for connections to other works of art in the Met archive. The hope here is that users will be able to explore cross-cultural connections, so that—for example—images of the sun in Mayan art would lead into depictions of the sun in Native American or African art, creating visual relationships between cultures.

My Life, my Met: Finally, My Life, My Met turns the focus to you and your social media feed. This hack intelligently matches the images in your Instagram feed with over 400,000 images available through The Met’s Open Access program. “Your celebration of a recent football win may be replaced by a late fifth-century B.C. Terracotta askos in the form of a duck,” Microsoft suggests. 

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.
Mark Hachman

Mark Hachman

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

James Cook University - Master of Data Science Online Course

Learn more >

Mobile

Exec

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?