top of page

The impact of digital technologies on the cultural environment

Technology knows no limits and is becoming increasingly present in all aspects of our life. The cultural world is no exception and has increasingly assimilated digital technologies as a new way to disseminate culture and provide a better experience for all audiences. In today's article, we will discuss the impact technology has on different artistic expressions and cultural institutions in recent times.

  • Virtual models in 3D and 4D

Until recently, the possibility of using systems to convert objects or places into three-dimensional virtual representations seemed remote. Today, many institutions use digital technologies in their projects to improve the user experience or facilitate some of their internal processes. This is the goal of one of our partners, the Cinter Group, whose main task is to introduce the use of virtual technologies at the service of the dissemination of culture. We invite you to look at their latest project, the 3D virtual reconstruction of the Valsaín Palace before its fire in 1682.

Another example of this technology is the 4D reconstruction of the Atapuerca deposits developed by the National Center for Research on Human Evolution (Cenieh). The overlay of 3D images taken over time makes the 4D representations, thus obtaining dynamic progress in 3D images of an object in a specific time. This type of reconstruction is useful to evaluate in the conservation of sites, when works are in progress, and to provide a dynamic perspective of historical sites. (need link)

  • Digital Museums

The advent of the pandemic shook the culture sector, still looking for ways to adapt to this new normal. Culture is an essential part of people's lives, as it serves to disconnect from their everyday life transporting them to a better reality. Art is an emotion; Art allows you to dream.

Now more than ever, art is necessary. Museums are looking for ways to ensure that their art is not closed behind doors, but rather, they are open to the people who can't visit in person. To do this, many museums have opted for integrating digital technologies to show their works or create virtual tours of the premises to be open to the public, even in these times. Such is the case of some important museums, such as Pompidou Centre, the Louvre in Paris, or the Prado Museum and the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid.

Here are the links of the virtual visits and digitized exhibitions of these museums:

  • Artificial intelligence

Technology in the workplace was initially designed to facilitate people's work or perform repetitive and costly processes that take time away from workers or pose physical effort or danger. This way, any work involving emotions or creativityseems to be limited to humans who, unlike machines, have and feel emotions. This is where artificial intelligence comes in, raising many debates about the limits of technology.

Today, artificial intelligence can write songs or paint abstract works of art that would hardly differ from those created by a human artist if we did not have more information or context than the painting itself. It is even taking the first steps in the world of poetry through Google's Poem Portraits platform created by the British designer Es Devlin.

Art, so far conceived as the emotional, inherent, and unique expression of the human condition, takes a new turn as a machine can create it. To produce a work of art, engines use Big Data to analyze vast amounts of existing artwork data to create a piece. One could argue that the completed artwork lacks what we usually understand as creativity to the extent that it is, to a greater or lesser extent, the result of a process of data learning and reproducing following a mechanical pattern.

That said, the really relevant question we have to ask ourselves is not so much whether or not engines are currently able to do art, but rather, whether there will be a day when machines will able to create by themselves; and above all, if this happens what would become of the expressions of our human creativity and emotions.

Technology, like everything in this life, has positive and negative aspects. While 4D models facilitate the work of researchers and virtual tours bring the public closer to culture when we need it most, artificial intelligence presents complex debates about the boundaries between the uniqueness of human emotions and creativity and artificial and detached artistic expressions.

This is one of the hottest debates regarding technology and culture today; and now, what do you think about this? … we would like to know your opinion on how the future of art will be considering the technological advances that are yet to come.

Please, leave us your comments!


bottom of page