Initially, I set out to work with an existing local museum, but as my search for a collaboration partner yielded no results, I’ll be working with a fictional, yet realistic use case for the prototype of the Historic Voicebot.
The museum for this use case is a STEM oriented museum. I’ve chosen this topic because I’m personally interested in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. On top of this, it’s also in line with my study of Multimedia and Communication Technology.
Museums that fall into this category include the Deutsches Technikmuseum in Berlin, the Deutsches Museum in Munich, the Heinz Nixdorf Museumsforum in Paderborn and the NEMO Science Museum in Amsterdam.
The historic person
The historical figure for the prototype of the Historic Voicebot is Ada Lovelace. I’ve chosen Lovelace because she fits perfectly within a STEM oriented museum. Her work was, especially during her lifetime, unrecognised because it was ahead of its time. Lovelace was the first computer programmer, and yet many people haven’t heard of her, which is why a voicebot of Ada Lovelace would be a great addition to any STEM museum.
For this use case, the Historic Voicebot of Ada Lovelace will be placed in an exhibition about the evolution of computers and technology. Lovelace’s voicebot will quite possibly stand out amongst the other items on display, not only because it’s an interactive installation, but she also doesn’t seem to come from an era of computer technology, the early 19th century.
The purpose of the Ada Lovelace voicebot is to engage museum visitors in a new and interactive way. The Historic Voicebot will provide content tailored to the individual visitor, and let them explore the parts of the exhibition that they’re interested in.
The idea is that visitors can ask Lovelace all kinds of questions and have a casual conversation with her. This way, visitors will be immersed in both her story and the exhibit itself in a unique way. A summary of possible visitor interactions can be found in the appendix.
Image source: Watercolour portrait of Ada King, Countess of Lovelace, circa 1840, possibly by Alfred Edward Chalon, via https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ada_Lovelace#/media/File:Ada_Lovelace_portrait.jpg Date of reference: 3rd of January 2019.