Highlight Delft 2024

Sping builds tour guide with artificial intelligence

Highlight Delft

Highlight Delft is Delft's innovative art and technology festival. Using art, science and technology, Highlight Delft shapes the future for the general public. During the festival you will discover a special glimpse of the future for three evenings. A special fusion of science, innovation and creativity that is right up Sping's alley.

As Digital Lab, Sping is sponsoring the festival for the second year in a row with an innovative project.

"Highlight Delft is a fantastic opportunity to experiment. This is because the technological festival is ahead of the future; artists show things that do not exist today, but will be possible in the future."

Jan Gerard Snip CEO/Founder Sping

Playing with creative innovations

In 2023, Sping developed special beer mats for the festival. Using augmented reality, you viewed artworks with your phone's camera - virtually. After scanning a QR code on the beer mat, the artworks came to life in miniature 3D versions. A great project by our intern Kora.

Key role with a personal AI guide

As Digital Lab, we play with creative innovations and translate them into practical applications for businesses. When mobile data emerged, we built the precursor to WhatsApp with Nimbuzz. Later, we developed applications to support inspection and testing processes with Virtual Reality. And now we are delving into the wonderful world of Artificial Intelligence (AI).

That is one reason why Highlight Delft approached Sping again for a contribution to the festival. Programmer Simon Aerts of Highlight Delft explains, "Our festival collaborates with various Delft tech companies, educational and research institutions. That gives the festival a truly Delft character. Last year the beer mats were a nice extra at the festival. But this year, Sping's innovation plays a key role: developer Kris is building an artificially intelligent tour guide. The AI guide makes it personal and answers the questions you have at that moment through a chatbot."

Programmer Simon is also enthusiastic about the AI guide: "Art and technology are sometimes about difficult and profound topics. As a festival, we want to give visitors good information. But of course everyone has different questions. With the AI assistant we can answer all those different questions personally."

The chatbot is based on a large language model. Kris: "When Highlight Delft approached us for an innovation, I immediately thought of a large language model. This technology has only been around for a few years. There are already several applications, but as a personal tour guide I haven't seen it yet. So it is a real innovation and we see a lot of potential for other festivals, museums and cultural events." 

"At Sping, we always feel a lot of enthusiasm to try new things and showcase them."

Simon Aerts Program director Highlight Delft

The 'human' side of AI

The AI tour guide fits perfectly within Highlight Delft's theme this year: Do you see what I see? "The festival is all about perception: making things understandable that we cannot see. This is partly also about manipulation of reality; what is real and what is not? And the way we deal with it," Simon says.

This is an important issue with information generated by artificial intelligence. Kris explains: "We feed the AI-tourguide chatbot with information. In addition, the chatbot uses information from the Internet; it is similar to Chat-GPT. And not everything on the Internet is true. Humans have yet to learn this. No matter how convincing information comes across from an AI tool, it is not always correct."

The AI tour guide is therefore given a human character. Kris: "For example, we want him/her to say honestly when not sure about an answer." Simon and Kris are also still working on a personality for the chatbot. "A name and character are important for a chatbot. That way people get the feeling that they are asking questions to a person. And they better understand that the chatbot tries really hard, but also makes mistakes sometimes," Kris says. Right now, Kris and Simon are still looking for a personality for the chatbot. Will it be a person? Or more of an abstraction? Whoever or whatever it becomes, at Highlight Delft it will answer all your questions. 

"Who really reads the sign at a work of art these days? The AI guide makes it personal and answers the questions you have at that moment through a chatbot."

Kris van Melis Software engineer at Sping

Are you curious about the technology behind the AI-tourguide chatbot?

In this insight, Kris gives some tips for setting up your own chatbot with a Large Language Model. And of course, you can ask the AI tourguide himself all your questions at Highlight Delft from February 15-17, 2024. 

Kunnen we met je meedenken?

Jan Gerard Snip - Founder