NOW/NEXT features changing exhibits fueled by pop culture and emerging trends in science and technology. Come discover future-forward innovations and consider the choices we face about their impact on our world.

New Exhibit: Artificial Intelligence
Now Open

During the last decade, artificial intelligence or “AI” has jumped from the pages of science fiction right into our homes.The latest iteration of Now/Next takes a deep dive into the AI technologies that are already part of our everyday lives and imagines a future in which this powerful tool enables a greater understanding of ourselves and our world. From robots to facial recognition and from real-time image classification to identifying mental health trends, this exhibit experience is an exciting exploration of AI capabilities and future possibilities.

Funded by The Barra Foundation

Network of lines and circles forming a pattern

Gallery Highlights:

  • Facial Detection and Recognition. Selfies, self-driving cars, and even surveillance drones, facial detection is all around us. See facial recognition software in action and ponder how this AI-powered technology is currently being used for safety and security and what the future might hold. 
  • Image Classification and Machine Learning. Explore the Google Teachable Machine interface to create your own machine learning model using images, sounds, and poses. Discover how specialists at Thomas Jefferson University are currently exploring whether machine learning can improve the speed and accuracy of cancer screening. 
  • Robotic Vision. Meet the robots! Heracross, a 30-pound remote-controlled winning battle bot built by students of The Franklin Institute’s PACTS youth program and Ghost Minitaur™ of Ghost Robotics are both on view. Heracross uses its metal arm to flip over and defeat its opponent, while Ghost Minitaur uses its sensors to quickly scale rough terrain. When robots detect their surroundings, make a decision, and complete a task successfully, they display artificial intelligence. 
  • Natural Language Processing and Mental Health Detection. Through an interactive digital map and social media language game, examine how AI can mine social media activity, words, and trends to assess one's mental well-being. See how scientists with the University of Pennsylvania’s World Well-Being Project apply AI technology to analyze public posts from social media users across the country that could eventually be used to improve our communities. 
  • Big Data Processing. Experiment with an AR sand table. Mold mountains of sand to see how satellites might capture surface elevation and how AI technologies rely on big data to understand the world we live on. Learn how researchers at Climate Central in Princeton, NJ, use machine learning to improve poor-quality elevation measurements, allowing coastal communities to better prepare for a future with higher sea levels and increased flooding.