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MoSH opens interactive artificial intelligence exhibit

By Jasmine McCraven, Daily Memphian

Updated: January 22, 2023 7:42 PM CT | Published: January 22, 2023 5:36 PM CT

John Wood (right) and Benjamin Ruiz (left) discover how artificial intelligence learns facial recognition with motion capture at the Museum of Science and History on Jan. 22. (Ziggy Mack/Special to The Daily Memphian)

The Museum of Science and History is displaying puzzles, videos and interactive elements in its new exhibit to educate people about artificial intelligence.

The exhibit, titled “Artificial Intelligence: Your Mind and The Machine,” opened on Sunday, Jan. 22. Throughout the exhibit, visitors can learn about the use and history of AI and how it affects everyday life.

Memphian Hillary Dewy brought her son on Sunday afternoon and said he found the exhibit thrilling.

“It’s so exciting for us to be able to learn together,” Dewy said.

The exhibit, curated by science and technology company The Relayer Group, is the first traveling museum exhibit to focus on what artificial intelligence is.

The exhibit first premiered in 2019 at the Orlando Science Center in Florida and has since been shown in other cities that include Houston, Charlotte and Seattle.

Museumgoers can also grasp a better understanding of how the human brain operates and learns in comparison to a computer.

The Museum of Science and History is using puzzles, videos and interactive elements to teach people about artificial intelligence in its new exhibit. (Ziggy Mack/Special to The Daily Memphian)

For instance, to solve a simple task or problem, a person may rely on repetition, whereas a computer or AI system uses math or patterns. This concept is demonstrated in several hands-on examples that include games and a real-time AI painter.

The exhibit explained the various ways AI is currently in use, including in video games, driverless cars and smartphone technology, like Siri or Alexa.

Hands-on interactive elements included quick draw AI applications, face and emotion recognition and pattern recognition displays. One interactive tool allowed visitors speech to be translated into another language.

Dozens of displays also gave a closer look into the benefits of AI and robots, through the use in medicine, manufacturing, logistics and education.

During the run of “AI: Your Mind and The Machine,” visitors can also view “Robots,” a look at how robots are taught to perform human functions.

Museum patrons explore the artificial intelligence exhibition at the Museum of Science and History on Jan. 22. (Ziggy Mack/Special to The Daily Memphian)

One of the biggest highlights of the exhibit, was an entire section dedicated to how Memphians and Memphis-based innovators have been among the many achievements in AI healthcare technology.

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital was recognized for its advancements in the use of proton therapy, an advanced form of radiation used to treat cases of cancer.

The exhibit also recognized local organizations such as Code Crew, which have created programs to make computer science accessible to underrepresented youth. The nonprofit has helped area students experience building AI technology. In partnership with St. Jude, students have assisted the hospital’s innovation team with developing a facial recognition algorithm.

The exhibit featured University of Tennessee Health Science Center graduate Erika Dillard. She founded Pop Check Technologies, a company that produces at-home monitor that collects information from the body to determine if a patient is at risk for blood clots.

FedEx’s Dataworks team was highlighted for its delivery systems used to monitor shipments of the COVID-19 vaccine. The team used AI to develop a package fingerprint model, which enhanced shipment visibility. The model helped drive on-time deliveries, which scaled up to 100,000 shipments daily.

Many of the displays included the long history of AIs in movies and literature as early as the 1800s, like British writer Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley. Shelley wrote “Frankenstein” in 1816, giving her account of what could go wrong with humans building artificial creatures.

Films such as “Metropolis” (1927) and “Star Wars” (1977) depicted a similar tale to Shelley’s in the exhibit, showing how imagery of AIs or robot intelligence might have created a fear of “smart computers taking over the entire world.”

Kevin Thompson, the executive director of MoSH, said AI may be the single most important technology being developed today.

“We want to provide our visitors with the needed insight to understand AI so that it’s real and relevant, not mysterious or frightening,” Thompson said. “We also want to showcase how it affects future careers and link those to our local universities and employers.”

The exhibit will remain open until Saturday, May 6.

Check out the Daily Memphian article here


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