Microsoft AI + MAP

Microsoft AI + MAP

The Museum of Art & Photography (MAP) and Microsoft are partnering to launch the first AI-powered platform for South Asian textiles. As part of Microsoft’s AI for Cultural Heritage programme, this collaboration was inspired by MAP’s Museum with Borders initiative established in 2020 that links collections through a unique collaboration between the Museum and other Indian and global institutions. Through this initiative, MAP has already worked with the British Museum, MFA Boston, Vitra Design Museum, and the Morgan Library and Museum, among others, with the intention of creating connections between artworks around the world.

The Platform

Microsoft and MAP will create an intelligent, web-based experience that connects South Asian textiles and textile-related artworks to the world. This platform will foster new conversations and collaboration across borders, powered by Microsoft AI.*

This experience will capitalise upon widespread interest in fashion and textiles to establish the global relevance of South Asian culture and provide an entry point for Art History through visual recognition (colors, patterns, shapes, weaving techniques) as well as textual data (names, dates, etc.).

Designed with consumers, museum professionals and textile scholars in mind, the platform will be accessible with the opportunity to uncover more in-depth connections to South Asian culture at every level of interaction. Curators will also have the ability to create new connections over the duration of the project as engagement and new narratives evolve, and these will then be able to be seen by the general public.

* The platform will be an ad-free microsite owned by The Museum of Art & Photography and made in collaboration with Microsoft and We Are Listen, LLC, who will be managing the licensing for the site. The site will be open to the public.

Platform Objectives

  • Showcase South Asian Textiles to a global audience and build further engagement with the field
  • Utilise Microsoft AI to draw previously unknown connections between artworks and cultures
  • Connect South Asian Textile collections in the region to other important collections around the world to spark dialogues between different specialists and institutions
  • Serve as a useful tool that academics and researchers working in the field of textiles can employ in their work

Connecting Objects and Narratives

The platform will link images from South Asian textile collections to other partner collections around the world through curated metadata tags and categories identified using Microsoft’s suite of AI tools.

About Microsoft’s AI for Cultural Heritage Programme

As part of Microsoft’s AI for Good initiative, the AI for Cultural Heritage programme leverages the power of Artificial Intelligence (AI) to empower people and organisations dedicated to the preservation and enrichment of cultural heritage. The programme supports specific individuals and organisations through collaboration, partnership, and investment in AI technology and resources. Through this programme, Microsoft aims to help serve as a catalyst for the preservation and enrichment of cultural heritage around the world.

Contact mandara.vishwanath@map-india.org for more information.