New Dimensions in Testimony
Project Leaders: Bill Swartout, David Traum, Paul Debevec
New Dimensions in Testimony is an initiative to record and display testimony in a way that will continue the dialogue between Holocaust survivors and learners far into the future.
A collaboration between the USC Shoah Foundation and the USC Institute for Creative Technologies, in partnership with Conscience Display, New Dimensions in Testimony 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.
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.