New Dimensions in Testimony

Wed, 02/15/2012 - 12:00am
Technology will enable interactive involvement.

International seminar on 3D testimony initiative

The USC Shoah Foundation Institute, in partnership with Conscience Display and the Institute for Creative Technologies, convened a three-day seminar on New Dimensions in Testimony, an initiative to record and display testimony in a way that will preserve the dialogue between Holocaust survivors and learners far into the future.

New Dimensions in Testimony will yield insights into the experiences of survivors through a new set of interview questions, many of which may not have been asked before.  The initiative will use technology developed by the USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT), to record interviews with seven cameras for high-fidelity playback; ICT is also pioneering display technology that will enable the testimonies to be projected in 3D, as well as “Natural Language Technology,” which will allow people to engage with the testimonies conversationally by asking questions that trigger relevant, spoken responses.  The initiative will lead to the development of interactive exhibits in which learners can have simulated educational conversations with survivors.

The New Dimensions in Testimony seminar, which took place on February 13-15 at the University of Southern California, brought together Holocaust survivors, representatives of leading museums and memorial centers, and technologists.  ICT demonstrated its 3D technology by capturing a prototype interview with Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter.

Learn more about New Dimensions in Testimony in the next issue of PastForward, the digest of the USC Shoah Foundation Institute.

New Dimensions in Testimony Seminar Participants

Holocaust Museums

  • Michael Haley Goldman, Director, Global Classroom and Evaluation, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Arnold Kramer, Senior Advisor, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Sarah Ogilvie, Director of the National Institute of Holocaust Education, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
  • Alice Herscovitch, Executive Director, Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre
  • Ruth-Anne Lenga, Head of Academic Programmes, Holocaust Education Development Programme, Institute of Education, University of London
  • Susan Myers, Executive Director, Holocaust Museum Houston
  • Mark Rothman, Executive Director, Los Angeles Museum of the Holocaust
  • Helen Whitney, CEO, The Holocaust Centre, UK
  • Janet Mills, Project Director & Donor Development Officer, The Holocaust Centre, UK

University of Southern California

  • Michael Renov, Associated Dean, School of Cinematic Arts

Conscience Display

  • Heather Maio, Managing Partner

USC Shoah Foundation Institute

  • Chesley Beaver, Independent Evaluation Specialist
  • Casey Cohen, Program Specialist
  • Sam Gustman, Chief Technology Officer
  • Pinchas Gutter, Holocaust survivor
  • Branko Lustig, Holocaust survivor, producer of Schindler’s List
  • Daisy Miller, Director of Development and Community Outreach, Holocaust survivor
  • Anita Pace, Director of Technology
  • Kim Simon, Managing Director
  • Stephen D. Smith, Executive Director
  • Kori Street, Director of Programs

USC Institute for Creative Technologies

  • Priti Aggarwal, Lead Programmer
  • Ron Arstein, Research Scientist
  • Jillian Gerten, Project Specialist
  • Bill Swartout, Director of Technology
  • David Traum, Research Professor, Natural Language Group Leader
  • Paul Debevec, Research Professor, Graphics Lab Leader
  • Alesia Egan, Project Manager
  • Anton Leuski, Research Professor, Natural Language Group
  • Lorri Weiss, Director of External Relations, Operations and Strategy
  • Abhijeet Ghosh, Research Assistant Professor