International Conference on Interactive Digital Storytelling

Interactive Storytelling pp 269-281 | Cite as

New Dimensions in Testimony: Digitally Preserving a Holocaust Survivor’s Interactive Storytelling

  • David Traum
  • Andrew Jones
  • Kia Hays
  • Heather Maio
  • Oleg Alexander
  • Ron Artstein
  • Paul Debevec
  • Alesia Gainer
  • Kallirroi Georgila
  • Kathleen Haase
  • Karen Jungblut
  • Anton Leuski
  • Stephen Smith
  • William Swartout
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 9445)

Abstract

We describe a digital system that allows people to have an interactive conversation with a human storyteller (a Holocaust survivor) who has recorded a number of dialogue contributions, including many compelling narratives of his experiences and thoughts. The goal is to preserve as much as possible of the experience of face-to-face interaction. The survivor’s stories, answers to common questions, and testimony are recorded in high fidelity, and then delivered interactively to an audience as responses to spoken questions. People can ask questions and receive answers on a broad range of topics including the survivor’s experiences before, after and during the war, his attitudes and philosophy. Evaluation results show that most user questions can be addressed by the system, and that audiences are highly engaged with the resulting interaction.

Keywords

Video Natural language dialogue Holocaust survivor testimony 

Notes

Acknowledgments

The New Dimensions in Testimony prototype was made possible by generous donations from private foundations and individuals. We are extremely grateful to The Pears Foundation, Louis F. Smith, and two anonymous donors for their support. We thank the Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust, the Museum of Tolerance, New Roads School in Santa Monica, and the Illinois Holocaust Museum and Education Center for offering their facilities for data collection and testing. We owe special thanks to Pinchas Gutter for sharing his story, and for his tireless efforts to educate the world about the Holocaust.

This work was supported in part by the U.S. Army; statements and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the position or the policy of the United States Government, and no official endorsement should be inferred.

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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • David Traum
    • 1
  • Andrew Jones
    • 1
  • Kia Hays
    • 2
  • Heather Maio
    • 3
  • Oleg Alexander
    • 1
  • Ron Artstein
    • 1
  • Paul Debevec
    • 1
  • Alesia Gainer
    • 1
  • Kallirroi Georgila
    • 1
  • Kathleen Haase
    • 1
  • Karen Jungblut
    • 2
  • Anton Leuski
    • 1
  • Stephen Smith
    • 2
  • William Swartout
    • 1
  1. 1.USC Institute for Creative TechnologiesPlaya VistaUSA
  2. 2.USC Shoah FoundationLos AngelesUSA
  3. 3.Conscience DisplayLos AngelesUSA

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