Cuseum CEO shares forecast on Artificial Intelligence in "Museum Practice”

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Cuseum’s CEO was recently quoted in the Museum Practice article “Using AI to Understand Audiences.” Ciecko forecasts his view on how artificial intelligence will impact audience development and fundraising in the museum, nonprofit, and cultural sector.

Brendan Ciecko, the chief executive of Cuseum, a US company that provides the technology for cultural institutions, agrees that machine learning could enable museums to improve their performance in areas including marketing, fundraising, and operations.

“A model could analyze a number of different variables like past attendance, weather, traffic patterns, day of the week, and other events in the area in order to make an educated prediction around what the attendance might be for a specific day or event” he says.

Ciecko points out that customer relationship management (CRM) software like Salesforce already uses pattern recognition to help sales teams answer questions like the most effective times to contact leads. “A lot of that same notion can be applied to membership and fundraising,” he says.

“When you are dealing with datasets of tens of thousands of people, it just is not feasible for a human to pick up on things that a computer would be able to.” he adds. 

“A computer can note every single touch point, every single characteristic of a specific patron, what events they’re going to, what their giving level is, their age, and compare this to historic patterns to make predictions.”

Ciecko stresses that we are in “extremely early days” regarding museums’ use of artificial intelligence (AI) techniques. But he says museums that want to establish momentum in this area should begin to identify where they can quickly gain tangible results.

“Nonprofits and cultural institutions only have so many resources — and in the hierarchy of needs there are things that come far before anything that appears like a shiny new object.” he says. 

When organizations can demonstrate they are getting financial value from Al, the skeptics will be encouraged to get on board, says Ciecko. “If you’re able to build a financial case that Al can drive new revenue and increase the sustainability of an institution, then it’s much easier to justify.”

Interested in the reading the full article? Head on over to Museum Practice.

Hear Brendan speak on the topic of artificial intelligence in museums and much more at Museums and the Web this April!