Holograms of Holocaust Survivors To Preserve Witnesses' Testimony for Posterity


Source: New Dimensions in Testimony


As the aging Holocaust survivor population dwindles, University of Southern California scientists hustle to create life-size 3D holograms that can answer viewer questions through natural language technology. New Dimensions in Testimony, a collaboration between the USC Shoah Foundation and the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, in partnership with Conscience Display, will yield insights into the experiences of survivors through a new set of interview questions, some that survivors are asked on a regular basis, plus many of which have not been asked before.


The project uses ICT’s Light Stage technology and records interviews with seven cameras for high-fidelity playback; as well as natural language technology, which will allow people to engage with the testimonies conversationally by asking questions that trigger relevant, spoken responses. ICT is also pioneering display technology that will enable the testimonies to be projected in 3D. ICT has been creating digital versions of people with its Light Stage systems since the year 2000, but researchers are significantly enhancing the technology for the survivor project.


The goal is to develop interactive 3-D exhibits in which learners can have simulated, educational conversations with survivors though the fourth dimension of time. Years from now, long after the last survivor has passed on, the New Dimensions in Testimony project can provide a path to enable young people to listen to a survivor and ask their own questions directly, encouraging them, each in their own way, to reflect on the deep and meaningful consequences of the Holocaust.


The project also advances the age-old tradition of passing down lessons through oral storytelling, but with the latest technologies available.


See a video clip of a Hologram testimony here.

Updated: Feb. 26, 2013