The Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center is excited to announce the opening of a new exhibit that utilizes artificial-intelligence technology to facilitate “virtual conversations” with Holocaust survivors.
Dimensions in Testimony, which is on exhibit in only seven other museums in the world, opens to the public on Friday, February 5. Here are five things to know about the exhibit:
- State-of-the-art technology. Dimensions in Testimony uses specialized recording and display technologies and next-generation natural language processing. It allows visitors to ask two-dimensional displays of Holocaust survivors questions and receive responses in real time.
- No additional cost to museum visitors. Visitors won’t pay any additional fee to see the exhibit when they purchase general museum admission. Thanks to a generous sponsorship by the Harold C. Schott Foundation, Dimensions in Testimony is included as part of general admission to the Holocaust & Humanity Center’s museum at Union Terminal. Get your general admission tickets today.
- Preserving eyewitness history. USC Shoah Foundation’s Dimensions in Testimony enables people to ask questions that prompt real-time responses from pre-recorded video interviews with Holocaust survivors and other witnesses to genocide. The pioneering project integrates advanced filming techniques, specialized display technologies and next generation natural language processing to create an interactive biography. Now and far into the future, museum-goers, students and others can have conversational interactions with these eyewitnesses to history to learn from those who were there.
- Special technology. The technology has applauded widely and highlighted by national media. Correspondent Lesley Stahl showcased the exhibit on “60 Minutes” last year. “Most of the survivors who remain are now in their 80s and 90s. Soon there will be no one left who experienced the horrors of the Holocaust firsthand, no one to answer questions or bear witness to future generations. But a new and dramatic effort is underway to change that. Harnessing the technologies of the present and the future, it keeps alive the ability to talk to, and get answers from, the past.”
- Celebrating the exhibit opening. The museum will celebrate the opening with a digital ribbon-cutting ceremony on February 4, at 4 p.m., via Zoom. The program will include remarks from Sarah L. Weiss, chief executive officer of the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center, in addition to a conversation with Fritzie Fritzshall, a Holocaust survivor and president of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center, whose recorded testimony is included in the Dimensions in Testimony exhibit. There will also be a demonstration of the technology.
Dimensions in Testimony is an initiative by USC Shoah Foundation to record and display testimony in a way that will preserve the dialogue between Holocaust survivors and learners far into the future. Collaborating within the project are Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center, with technology by USC Institute for Creative Technologies, and concept by Conscience Display.
Funding for Dimensions in Testimony was provided in part by Pears Foundation, Louis. F. Smith, Melinda Goldrich and Andrea Cayton/Goldrich Family Foundation in honor of Jona Goldrich, and Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center. Other partners include CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
Ensuring that the experience is integrated into the museum, HHC partnered again with Jack Rouse Associates and solicited Turner Construction Company as the general contractor on the project.