The advent of artificial intelligence (AI) has brought about a revolution in various sectors, and the museum industry is no exception. The introduction of AI chatbots, particularly OpenAI’s ChatGPT, has opened up a plethora of opportunities for museums to enhance visitor experience, or streamline operations. This article explores how ChatGPT can be utilized in museums, drawing insights from various sources and experts in the field.

The challenges faced by museums and cultural institutions

1. Increasing diversity and inclusivity: Museums are becoming more aware of the need to represent and engage with diverse communities and to address issues of equity and social justice.
2. Technological advancements: Museums are incorporating new technologies such as virtual and augmented reality, digital interpretation, and online collections to enhance visitor engagement and to expand their reach. The emergence of Ai is also disrupting significantly the museum landscape
3. Economic challenges: Museums are facing funding cuts and increased competition for resources, requiring them to be more creative and entrepreneurial in their operations and fundraising.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is an AI chatbot developed by OpenAI. It’s a text-based dialogue system that interacts with users by answering questions and responding to prompts. Trained on vast datasets, it uses a “natural language” model that mimics how people actually speak. Its performance is honed by human developers giving feedback on the quality of its responses.

A cautionary note on the use of ChatGPT in museums

Despite the remarkable capabilities of ChatGPT, it’s crucial to underscore that, like other AI models, it can occasionally dispense inaccurate information or even fabricate references. This underscores the indispensable role of human supervision and fact-checking. Those who have played around with the chatbot may have seen that (as OpenAI clearly states) the information in the responses may be incorrect and refer to facts or people that don’t exist. 

There is a clear explanation for this: the implementation available in the chatbot can only extract information from its training data, which, while huge, is still limited. So if you’re asking about something that doesn’t have that much information, there’s a good chance the answer will be wrong. If we want the system to only provide information based on certain sources, we can restrict the corpus that the model considers. For example, we could ask questions about art history and instruct the model to look for possible answers in a corpus of art history books.

Creating meaningful interpretive text with ChatGPT may require such extensive fact-checking and editing that it might be more efficient to write the text from scratch. While ChatGPT excels at assembling words in a compelling and authoritative manner, it lacks actual knowledge. It can craft sentences that sound convincing and authoritative, but the underlying facts may be entirely fictitious.

An effective application of ChatGPT could be for a curator to draft an information panel, then submit it to ChatGPT for a rewrite into clearer, more concise language that is easily comprehensible and engaging for the average person. Alternatively, one could provide the necessary data in bullet points, then request ChatGPT to draft the text.

Merging your expertise and knowledge with ChatGPT’s proficiency in language can enhance your work. However, using ChatGPT as a knowledge tool is ill-advised. It lacks knowledge, but it can fabricate data that sounds incredibly authoritative. A more prudent approach would be to train your own AI using a wealth of resources, such as online collection databases. This way, you’re building what you want from verified information and have it cite its sources at the end of every chat. While it may still make occasional mistakes, they will be less frequent and easier to catch due to the cited source material.

Applications of ChatGPT in Museums

Brainstorming and idea generation

ChatGPT can be an excellent tool for brainstorming and idea generation for museum curators for several reasons:

– Bringing diverse perspectives
ChatGPT has been trained on a vast array of text from the internet, which means it has been exposed to a multitude of perspectives, styles, and ideas. When asked to generate ideas or brainstorm, it can produce a wide variety of suggestions that a curator might not have thought of on their own. This diversity can lead to innovative and unique concepts for exhibits, programs, and other museum initiatives.

– Speed and efficiency
Brainstorming with ChatGPT can be a quick process. The AI can generate ideas almost instantly, which can significantly speed up the brainstorming process. This can be particularly beneficial when time is limited or when there are many topics to cover.

– Encouraging creativity
Sometimes, the most challenging part of brainstorming is getting started. ChatGPT can provide a starting point, generating initial ideas that curators can then build upon. This can help jump-start the creative process and lead to more innovative ideas.

ChatGPT can be used to create engaging and informative educational materials that enhance the visitor’s experience and deepen their understanding of the artifacts on display. Here are a few ways it can be utilized:

Generating Exhibit Labels and Catalogues with ChatGPT

Exhibit labels and catalogues are crucial components of a museum’s educational mission. They provide visitors with context and information about the artifacts on display, helping them understand the significance of the items and their place in history, art, science, or culture. ChatGPT can be a valuable tool in creating these informative materials.

Exhibit Labels
Exhibit labels typically include the name of the artifact, its creator or origin, its date, and sometimes a brief description or commentary. They serve as a bridge between the visitor and the exhibit, providing essential information and enhancing the visitor’s understanding and appreciation of the exhibit.
ChatGPT, with its language generation capabilities, can be used to create these labels. The AI can be fed information about the artifact – such as its origin, age, and significance – and then generate a concise, informative label. This can be particularly useful for museums with large collections, as it can speed up the process of label creation.
Moreover, ChatGPT can generate labels in a variety of styles and tones to match the museum’s approach. For instance, if a museum prefers a more casual, conversational tone, ChatGPT can be trained to generate labels in that style. This flexibility allows museums to maintain a consistent voice across all their exhibits.

Catalogues are more comprehensive than labels, often providing detailed descriptions of the artifacts, their history, and their significance. They may also include scholarly essays and other supplementary materials. Catalogues serve not only as guides for visitors during their museum visit but also as resources for further study and research.
ChatGPT’s ability to synthesize information and generate coherent, detailed text makes it a valuable tool for creating catalogues. The AI can be provided with extensive information about the artifacts and the exhibition, and it can generate a detailed, informative catalogue that enhances the visitor’s understanding and engagement.
Furthermore, ChatGPT can generate catalogues in multiple languages, making them accessible to a wider audience. This can be particularly beneficial for museums located in multilingual regions or those that attract a large number of international visitors.

Creating Educational Materials

It can generate educational materials such as brochures and activity books, providing interactive and engaging ways for visitors to learn about the artifacts on display.
Brochures provide visitors with concise, easy-to-understand information about the museum’s exhibits. They often include descriptions of the exhibits, maps of the museum, and information about the museum’s history and mission.
ChatGPT can be used to generate the text for these brochures. The AI can be fed information about the museum and its exhibits, and it can generate clear, engaging text that enhances the visitor’s understanding and appreciation of the museum. Furthermore, ChatGPT can generate brochures in multiple languages, making them accessible to a wider audience.
Activity Books
Activity books are a great way to engage younger visitors and enhance their learning experience. These books often include puzzles, quizzes, coloring pages, and other activities related to the museum’s exhibits.
ChatGPT can be used to generate the text for these activity books. For instance, it can generate questions for quizzes based on the information about the exhibits. It can also generate descriptions and instructions for activities. This can be particularly useful for museums with limited resources, as it can speed up the process of creating these activity books.
Interactive  and Audio Guides
Interactive guides provide visitors with a more engaging and immersive museum experience. These guides often include interactive maps, audio descriptions, and quizzes.
ChatGPT can be used to generate the text for these interactive guides. The AI can generate descriptions of the exhibits, questions for quizzes, and instructions for using the guide. Moreover, ChatGPT can generate scripts for audio descriptions, providing an engaging and accessible experience for visually impaired visitors.
Moreover, ChatGPT can generate scripts in a variety of styles and tones to match the museum’s approach. For instance, if a museum prefers a more storytelling approach, ChatGPT can be trained to generate scripts in that style. This flexibility allows museums to maintain a consistent voice across all their audio guides.

Interactive Q&A Sessions

Interactive Q&A sessions can be a fun and engaging way for visitors to learn more about the exhibits. Visitors can ask questions about the artifacts on display, and ChatGPT can provide them with detailed, informative answers. This can be particularly beneficial for large groups or school trips, where it may not be feasible for a guide to answer all individual questions.
ChatGPT can be programmed to answer a wide range of questions, from basic facts about the artifact (such as its origin, age, and significance) to more complex questions about its historical context or its role in the culture it comes from. The AI’s ability to synthesize information and generate coherent, detailed responses can enhance the visitor’s understanding and appreciation of the exhibits.


Chatbots can provide a more personalized and interactive experience for visitors. They can be available on the museum’s website or app, providing visitors with information and answering their questions at any time.
ChatGPT can be used to power these chatbots. The AI can be programmed to answer a wide range of questions about the museum and its exhibits. It can provide information about the museum’s hours and admission fees, describe the exhibits, answer questions about the artifacts, and even suggest exhibits based on the visitor’s interests.
Moreover, ChatGPT-powered chatbots can provide a more engaging and interactive experience by using natural language processing to understand the visitor’s questions and generate human-like responses. They can also learn from each interaction, improving their responses over time.

Creating images

OpenAI’s latest update has introduced exciting new image processing capabilities. The most recent iteration of ChatGPT, now powered by the advanced multimodal model (GPT-4), has the ability to comprehend and respond to images that you provide.
While the AI bot may not yet possess the ability to design images, it can now analyze them to assist you with a variety of tasks. You can also harness the power of ChatGPT to generate compelling prompts for image creation tools like Dall-E or Midjourney. There are specific plugins available, such as Dall-e 2 for Dall-E, and Photorealistic for Midjourney. These plugins, when combined with the language generation capabilities of ChatGPT, can facilitate the creation of stunning and unique images, opening up a world of creative possibilities.

The Future of ChatGPT in Museums

The potential of ChatGPT and similar AI tools in museums is immense. As these technologies continue to evolve, they are likely to play an increasingly significant role in the museum sector. However, it’s crucial for museums to approach the use of these tools thoughtfully, considering both their potential benefits and the ethical implications.

In conclusion, ChatGPT offers exciting possibilities for museums, from enhancing visitor engagement to streamlining operations. By leveraging this technology thoughtfully and responsibly, museums can not only enhance their offerings but also redefine their roles in a rapidly changing digital landscape.

You can reach the  LenseUp team for a comprehensive assessment on integrating ChatGPT into your cultural institution. Whether your interest lies in generating written content, providing your visitors with a chatbot tailored to a specific exhibition, or enhancing the visitor experience with a ChatGPT-powered audio guide, our team stands ready to assist. We look forward to exploring the transformative potential of ChatGPT with you.