AI tool helps Van Gogh Museum sieve through visitor feedback

10 November 2023 3 min. read

Amsterdam’s Van Gogh Museum, a huge hit with foreign visitors to the city, has launched an AI-powered tool that collects and processes visitor feedback in a wide variety of languages. The tool – developed in collaboration with Eraneos – analyzes feedback to extract useful insights that can then be used for upgrading the visitor experience.

The new tool uses natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning to rapidly shift through around 1,500 monthly anonymous comments in various languages and offers the museums management useful insights. This feedback system uses Microsoft Azure Language Services, which basically just aids in efficiently processing natural language.

The Van Gogh Museum is one of the most-visited museums in the world, with around 1.6 million visits per year from both local and international art lovers.

AI tool helps Van Gogh Museum sieve through visitor feedback

Located in the museum district of Amsterdam, the museum has been around since 1973 and houses the world’s largest collection of the highly sought-after works of Vincent Van Gogh.

“The museum makes the life and work of Vincent van Gogh and the art of his time accessible to the broad public and strives to inspire as many people as possible and enrich their lives,” said Yaron McNabb senior data scientist at Eraneos.

The tool Eraneos built for the museum helps its staff with rapidly sieving through the feedback it receives from visitors. “Every month, over 1,500 comments are analyzed to extract useful insight into what can be improved and enhanced in the museum.”

The power of the tool is that it can assess feedback from all corners of the globe. “Given the international audience in the museum, the feedback can be entered in 100+ languages,” said McNabb. “Our tool supports the translation, and categorizes feedback based on sentiment across more than 15 broad topics.”

The tool was specifically designed to allow professionals from the Van Gogh Museum that may have little experience with AI to benefit from the insights that can be gathered from a wide range of feedback. While it was developed using complex codes and applications, the end user is able to interact with feedback even with little to no knowledge of AI and coding.

Van Gogh Museum’s use of AI

This is not the first time the Van Gogh Museum has turned to AI. Previously, the museum worked with Dutch consultancy firm Magnus to develop a tool that allows visitors to create personalized AI-created portraits of themselves with the iconic colors and brushwork of Vincent Van Gogh’s signature style.

The museum also launched a WeChat Channel and WeChat Mini Program with AI features. Chinese users of the huge social media platform were able to immerse themselves in a virtual version of the museum where they could interact with the artwork and ask questions to hosts.

Another instance in which the museum embraced innovative technology is the “Meet Vincent Van Gogh Experience,” a so-called ‘immersive exhibition’ on Van Gogh's life and art. AI technology was also used by researchers at a Dutch university to get a better idea of how a badly faded Van Gogh painting held by the museum would have looked in its prime.