IK Prize

The IK Prize is presented annually by Tate for an idea that uses digital technology to innovate the way we discover, explore and enjoy British art in the Tate collection

IK Prize 2016, Recognition

Awarded to an individual, team or company for project proposal in response to an annually changing brief - following an ideas shortlisting and proposal scoping process - the winners receive a production budget to realise the project online and at Tate Britain.

Details of future competitions are yet to be confirmed; check back on this page for announcements.

IK Prize 2016

The 2016 IK Prize, in partnership with Microsoft, challenged digital creatives to use a form of artificial intelligence to allow the public to explore, investigate or ‘understand’ British art in the Tate collection in new ways. An expert panel of judges selected a shortlisted four ideas in response to a brief on artificial intelligence. They included a proposal to give artworks the power to daydream, an intelligent machine comparing artworks with the never-ending stream of images from across the internet, an A.I. artist-in-residence learning to create art, and an experiment to see if a machine can learn to describe artworks as well as humans.

The Jury

Paul Bennun
Co-owner and Chief Creative Officer of Somethin' Else, a content design and creation company based in London

Alex Farquharson
Director of Tate Britain

Eric Horvitz
Computer Scientist and managing director of the Microsoft Research lab at Redmond

Marguerite Humeau
An artist with work in MoMA's permanent collection

Aleks Krotoski
Broadcaster for the BBC and Channel 4, with fellowships at Oxford and LSE

The Shortlist

Ross Frame and Tom Wyatt

The Wandering Intelligence of Art by Ross Frame and Tom Wyatt

What if artworks daydreamed, looked back at their audience, noticed their surroundings, and were inspired as we are? Ross Frame and Tom Wyatt propose to give artworks eyes and ears to pick-up on the actions of visitors. Using facial recognition, sound detection and various other methods, the intelligent machines ‘inside’ each work will let their minds wander, influenced by the ‘data’ all around them. Both online and on-mobile, at home or during a visit to the gallery, the public will be able to see into these machine-minds and witness how visitors’ actions ‘transform’ how the artworks think.


Recognition by Fabrica

Fabrica (Angelo Semeraro, Coralie Gourguechon, Isaac Vallentin and Monica Lanaro) is a communication research centre based in Treviso, Italy, as part of the Benetton Group. Fabrica offers young researchers from around the world a one-year scholarship within a variety of disciplines. Fabrica propose Recognition; an autonomously operating software programme. Comparisons between artistic works and other material are made by the software programme and are for the purpose of stimulating debate about art, expression and representation.

Unit Lab

OSCAR by Unit Lab

Unit Lab (Mike Vanis, Cindy Strobach and Amina Abbas Nazari ) is a London-based design studio who create installations and objects that span across design, science and the natural world. They propose OSCAR (Observant Systematically Creative AI in Residence), an intelligent and interactive machine personality. An experiment exploring the subjective/objective differences between human beings and computers, OSCAR will develop over the course of the residency. He will consume art within Tate Britain, gather people’s views and explore the history and context of artworks. He will then step into the physical realm learning to create his own artwork.

Michel Erler 

Texting Tate by Michel Erler

Michel Erler is an experimental interaction designer exploring the intersection of design, science and art. His proposal is Texting Tate, an intelligent ‘chat bot’ that looks at artworks from the Tate collection and learns to describe them with the help of the public. The bot will even engage in conversations with the public who, by logging on to the chat bot online, will answer questions about what they think about particular works of art – do they like it; how does it make them feel; what does it remind them of? As the bot receives more answers and asks more questions, it will build on its own ability to describe works of art. The public will correct the bot’s mistakes and suggest better, more intelligent, descriptions, forming a collaboration between man and machine.

The Winner

  • Tate Britain

    IK Prize 2016: Recognition

    2 Sep – 27 Nov 2016

    Can a machine make us look afresh at great art through the lens of today’s world?

IK Prize 2015

An expert jury shortlisted four ideas, ranging from using 3D printing technology to enable replicas of sculptures to exhibited in the street, to immersive audio experiences at locations around the country that inspired artworks, to an installation of sensory stimulants which will allow users to smell, touch, taste and hear works of art, as well as a mobile app that uses complex algorithms to match snapshots with artworks.

The Jury

Mat Collishaw
A leading British artist with work in Tate's Collection

Justin Cooke
Founder and CEO of Tunepics, the world's first multi-sensory social network

Chris Milk
Artist who has shown work at Tate and music video director for Kanye West, U2, Courtney Love and others

Kerstin Mogull
Managing Director of Tate

The Shortlist

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My Tate Mate by Five10Twelve

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Tate Sensorium by Flying Object

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Tate Here by Wieden + Kennedy

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Digital Re-Sculpt by Artzoom

The Winner

  • Tate Britain

    IK Prize 2015: Tate Sensorium

    26 Aug – 4 Oct 2015

    Stimulate your sense of taste, touch, smell and hearing in this immersive art experience

IK Prize 2014

The jury shortlisted four ideas, ranging from robots roaming the galleries, to an interactive video, stories told via social media, and an art experience in the online world of Minecraft. Alongside the six jurors, we invited the public to cast the seventh vote.

The Jury

Jemima Kiss
Head of technology and editorial at the Guardian

Mark Leckey
An multi-media artist and 2008 winnder of the Turner Prize

Marc Sands
Director of Audiences and Media at Tate

Tom Uglow
Founder of Google's Creative Lab in Europe, working accross a number of experimental projects

Jimmy Wales
Founder of, the online encyclopedia

The Shortlist

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After Dark by The Workers (Tommaso Lanza, Ross Cairns and David Di Duca)

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Tatecraft by Adam Clarke,

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Tate Text by Storythings (Matt Locke and Kim Plowright)

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Through the Eyes of an Eight-Year-Old by Evan Boehm with Nexus Productions

The Winner

  • Tate Britain
    Special event

    IK Prize 2014: After Dark

    13–17 Aug 2014

     Control robots roaming around the gallery from the comfort of your sofa

1. Information for Entrants

2016 IK Prize Brief

Entrants will demonstrate originality and ingenuity in the application of artificial intelligence to the task of engaging the public with art on display at Tate Britain and on the Tate website.

IK Prize Objectives

The winning project will:

  • Engage diverse national and international audiences with art on display at Tate Britain and/or British art on the Tate website
  • Have an online and/or mobile manifestation (with a potential physical manifestation or mode of use at Tate Britain or another location)*
  • Offer a completely new and exciting way for the public to engage with art
  • Use a form of artificial intelligence** innovatively and appropriately in relation to art

Virtual vs. Physical delivery space

*The winning project can take place on any digital ‘platform’, whether online, on a mobile device or as part of a technological installation. In order to fulfil the core objectives, the project must have an integral online manifestation accessible to diverse international audiences.

Please note: Entrants should be aware that a permanent space or any other physical infrastructure requirements cannot be guaranteed at Tate Britain, therefore proposals should not be dependent on a physical space at the gallery. However, proposals featuring the public use of digital hardware in the galleries, or non-invasive/temporary installation of digital hardware more generally, are potentially welcomed. Projects that propose site-specific manifestations in other locations are potentially also welcomed but entrants are advised to be clear about how this could be achieved.

**Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the intelligence exhibited by machines or software. It is also the name of the academic field of study which researches how to create computers and computer software that are capable of intelligent behaviour, and what the use of this capability could be for mankind. For interesting examples of creative artificial intelligence related projects, download an entry pack.

2. IK Prize Rules

The IK Prize Rules comprise the Eligibility Criteria, Judging Criteria and the Terms. You should read each section carefully to ensure that you are eligible to enter, that you understand how your entry will be used and judged and that you understand the legally binding terms and conditions. When you submit your entry you will be asked to confirm that you understand and agree to abide by the IK Prize Rules.

Eligibility Criteria

  • Entrants may be based anywhere in the world. However, please note that if you are not based in the UK, you will need to factor travel, accommodation and all other costs and expenses into the overall production budget as you may be required to be physically present at Tate on a number of occasions.
  • Entrants must also ensure that they are legally able to travel to the UK. Please check for any visa requirements that may apply to you or your organisation. Tate cannot advise on or assist with UK visa applications.
  • Entrants may not be an employee of Tate, Microsoft Corporation, or a Microsoft subsidiary
  • Entrants may not be an immediate family member of (parent, sibling, spouse/domestic partner, child) or household member of a Tate employee, a Microsoft employee, a Microsoft subsidiary employee, or a person involved in any part of the administration and execution of the IK Prize.
  • Entrants may not be involved in any part of the execution or administration of this Competition
  • Entries must be submitted on or before the deadline of 23:59:59 GMT on Sunday 07 February to Entries submitted after this deadline or in any other format except via email will automatically be ineligible.
  • Previous winners of the IK Prize are not eligible to enter, but previously shortlisted candidates may enter the IK Prize.

Selection Process, Judging Criteria and Judging Panel

Each entry submitted on or before the deadline will first be assessed by Tate staff to ensure that:

  • It is eligible based on the Eligibility Criteria
  • It fits with Tate’s mission to promote understanding and enjoyment of British art
  • It otherwise meets the Judging Criteria set out below.

The Judging Criteria for all Entries are as follows:

  • Entrants’ abilities and skills in relation to the proposed project;
  • Demonstration of previous success in a related area;
  • The originality and quality of the idea and how well this relates to Tate’s mission to promote understanding and enjoyment of British art;
  • How successful the user experience is likely to be;
  • How appropriate the proposed use of artificial intelligence is in relation to art and vice versa;

Tate staff will in their sole discretion select a longlist of up to 10 suitable entries to be submitted to the Judging Panel. The decision of Tate staff is final.

The Judging Panel (the “Panel”) will comprise 5 people who are leaders in the digital innovation and technology sectors, including a representative from Tate and from Microsoft. All Entries selected for shortlisting will be judged on the basis of the Judging Criteria.

Additional Judging Criteria for the Shortlisted Ideas

The Judging Panel will shortlist up to four Entries. Shortlisted Candidates will then work their Entry into a full Proposal. The winning Proposal will be based upon the above criteria and the following:

  • How well the original Entry has been communicated in a full Proposal
  • The level of creative and technical ingenuity involved in the overall design/development/ delivery of the project
  • The feasibility of the proposed project within the given financial and time-related constraints (based on the Shortlisted Candidates’ draft project plan and budget set out in the Proposal)

Terms and conditions

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