Explore the World of Artificial Intelligence in Seattle with MOHAI
From aerospace engineering to IT, for generations Seattle has been a city of cutting-edge innovation. This makes it the perfect place to learn about one of the most exciting scientific fields of today: artificial intelligence.
Artificial Intelligence: Your Mind & The Machine is a revolutionary new exhibit currently on display at Seattle’s Museum of History & Industry (MOHAI). As the first traveling museum exhibit in the United States devoted to the topic of AI, it explores the origins, evolution, uses and potential future of artificial intelligence through hands-on, interactive exhibits, mind-bending questions and fascinating facts. Perhaps most interesting, it explores the complex questions of AI ethics, both for itself and mankind.
As part of our special partnership with MOHAI, you can get two complimentary tickets to this unique exhibit when you book a stay at Hotel Theodore by booking our Seattle: Past and Present special offer.
I Think, Therefore I am
From self-driving cars to the personal assistant on your smartphone, artificial intelligence is very front-and-center these days. But what actually is artificial intelligence? How much do we know about it or how well do we understand it?
Although AI seems a very modern concept, the idea of intelligent, human-created beings or things actually goes back thousands of years. Some of the earliest recorded instances of AI were in mythology or religion, like the Golem of Jewish folklore or Talos, a bronze, automaton giant from Greek mythology that protected the island of Crete.
Tracing the history of AI is a core theme of the exhibit, touching on both famous and lesser-known moments in the history of computers, robotics and AI from the Turing Test to the AI Winter of the late 1900s. From famous women in the field of AI to key events in its evolution, you gain a better understanding of how human imagination, creativity and ingenuity helped create intelligent machines and software systems. We won’t divulge too much of the information here. It’s much more interesting to learn in-person while interacting with the exhibits along the way.
Fun and Games
Reading about AI is one thing, but it’s way better to see it in action. Both adults and kids alike will have a blast learning about AI’s abilities (and limits) with tons of interactive exhibits and mind games found throughout the exhibit. Options range from an AI that uses a live camera to try to guess your age (adults may get a nice ego boost out of this one, as this 30-something writer was identified as being between 15-20) to battling early computer games like Pong.
You can also see what you look like as animated cartoon characters in a face transfer exhibit, have an AI guess what you’re drawing and test a computer’s ability to scan billions of images to correctly identify famous locations in an image recognition game.
Much of our interest in artificial intelligence stems from its use and depictions in pop culture like movies, music and books. Starting with the work of Mary Shelley to films like Fritz Lang’s 1927 film Metropolis and Spike Jonze’s Her, AI’s central role in the science fiction genre is a key part of the exhibit as well, showing how our ideas about artificial intelligence, robots and automation has also evolved.
It also shows how many of these out-of-this-world stories and ideas about robots from the future or all-powerful AIs taking over the world are pure fantasy, with no basis in reality. Released in 1968, 2001: A Space Odyssey wondered if we’d have AI-run space stations by the start of the 21st century. These and many other AI stories haven’t come to pass...yet.
What’s Next for AI?
After learning what exactly AI is and how it came to be, the big question is...what’s next? Obviously, no one fully knows. But we have glimpses of what’s to come, and constant advances in AI could revolutionize fields like agriculture and medicine. The only thing we know for sure is that AI is a fascinating field of work that’s sure to change the world even more than it already has.
Artificial Intelligence: Your Mind & The Machine will be on display at MOHAI until January 8, 2023, so book your stay at either Hotel Theodore or Hotel Max and see this innovative exhibit before it moves on to the next city!
More of MOHAI
We recommend setting aside at least a few hours for your visit to MOHAI. Why? Because apart from Artificial Intelligence, MOHAI is home to many other fascinating and informative exhibits to discover. Part of its permanent collection, True Northwest: The Seattle Journey is an in-depth exploration of the history of Seattle and the Puget Sound from when it was the home of native Indigenous groups like the Duwamish to modern day. You can learn more about the entwined history of innovation and the Puget Sound in the Bezos Center of Innovation, take your kids to the Kid-Struction Zone and marvel at the beautiful art installations and historic artifacts displayed in the central atrium.
The museum’s picturesque location right on the edge of Lake Union also allows for lovely views of the lake, hillsides, Gas Works Park and numerous historic boats.
How to Get There
You can also hop on the South Lake Union Streetcar at the nearby Westlake & Olive stop for a quick 20-minute ride. If you have a rental car or brought your own car for your Seattle stay, there are several parking garages and lots nearby, as well as an on-site lot for ADA guests.