The theme for this year's International Museum Day on May 18 was "Hyper-connected Museums: New Approaches, New Publics," which underlined the importance of using new means made possible by the rapid development of the Internet to attract the public to museums.
In recent years, Chinese museums have actively explored new methods involving modern technology to draw audiences. For instance, the Palace Museum in Beijing has used videos, websites and apps to bring the museum closer to the people.
The Museum of the Terracotta Warriors in Xi'an, northwest China's Shaanxi Province, applied artificial intelligence (AI) technology which enables visitors to view or hear an introduction to the artifacts in the museum by taking a photo of them. The "smart museum" system has also been launched elsewhere, allowing users to visit a museum online and view its artifacts digitally.
These new technologies have developed a group of loyal fans, with museums' social network accounts attracting large followings. Today, more and more young people are visiting museums due to these innovations.
Despite achievements so far, museums need to further increase their interaction with the public by following and adopting the latest scientific innovations including AI, information technology and 3D printing. In this way they will be able to provide better user experiences to visitors and realize their social function.
In the meantime, museums should avoid overexploitation of historical and cultural resources and prioritize the protection of artifacts in the digitalization process.
(This is an edited excerpt of an article published on Guancha.gmw.cn on May 18)