JRA has partnered with the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center (HHC) at Cincinnati’s Union Terminal to present a new exhibit, using Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology to create the opportunity for visitors to have virtual conversations with Holocaust survivors.
The exhibit, Dimensions in Testimony, opens on 5 February and is sponsored by the Harold C. Schott Foundation. It uses innovative recording and display technologies alongside next-generation natural language processing to enable guests to ask questions of 2D displays of Holocaust survivors, and to get answers in real-time.
“Sadly, we will soon reach a time where we can longer ask survivors about their firsthand accounts of the Holocaust,” says Sarah L. Weiss, chief executive officer of the Nancy & David Wolf Holocaust & Humanity Center. “The new exhibit ensures that future generations will still be able to have conversations with and learn from survivors.”
At a digital ribbon-cutting ceremony on 4 February, there will be opening remarks from Weiss, as well as 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. The ceremony will also feature a demonstration of the technology.
The technology behind Dimensions in Testimony takes visitors’ questions and transforms them into search terms. It then matches these search terms to the most relevant interviewee response, and plays back the associated video clip, allowing guests to feel as if they are having a conversation with that survivor. This is an initiative by USC Shoah Foundation to record and display testimony and preserve the dialogue between Holocaust survivors and learners.
Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center also collaborated on the exhibit, which features technology by USC Institute for Creative Technologies. The concept is by Conscience Display and funding was provided in part by Pears Foundation, Louis. F. Smith, Melinda Goldrich and Andrea Cayton/Goldrich Family Foundation in honour of Jona Goldrich, and Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center.
Other partners include CANDLES Holocaust Museum and Education Center. To integrate the experience into the museum, HHC partnered with JRA. Turner Construction Company was the general contractor on the project.
JRA has an experienced team of planners, producers and project managers who work on creating immersive experiences around the world. Previous projects include the National Comedy Center, The Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory and the Runaway Tram coaster at Morey’s Piers.