Holocaust Survivor Hologram Will Live Forever

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Holocaust Survivor Hologram Will Live Forever
August 2, 2018
Holocaust survivor Pinchas Gutter (pictured) was re-created as a hologram as part of the 'New Dimensions in Testimony' project created by USC's Shoah Foundation 

 

- Researchers from USC's Shoah Foundation have interviewed more than a dozen Holocaust survivors as part of a new project, 'New Dimensions in Testimony'

- They use AR, VR and AI to preserve their stories in the form of a hologram

- The realistic holograms are then debuted at museums around the country 

- Museum-goers can interact with the holograms and ask them questions 

 

A team of researchers from the University of Southern California are working to immortalize the stories of Holocaust survivors while they still can. 

 

Using a combination of augmented and virtual reality, as well as artificial intelligence, they've created holograms of survivors, many aged well into their 90s, that museum visitors can interact with and ask questions. 

 

92-year-old Holocaust survivor Stanley Bernath is the latest subject of the program, called 'New Dimensions in Testimony,' and marks the 15th survivor researchers have interviewed so far.

 

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Bernath sat for a 13 hour interview, during which he was asked more than 1,000 questions, ranging from those dealing with his experiences in the Holocaust to more general queries about his life. 

 

USC's Shoah Foundation, which is behind the project, has debuted exhibits at museums across the country and international festivals. 

 

A beta version of Bernath's hologram is now on view at Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in the Cleveland suburb of Beachwood, Ohio, according to Fox News

 

Audience members can ask Bernath questions at the museum. In a video, a viewer is seen asking him what happened to his family during the Holocaust, to which his hologram responds: 'My brother and mother survived.'

 

11 million people were killed in the Holocaust, with up to 6 million of them being Jews.  

 

USC researchers hope that the project will help preserve survivors' stories 'far into the future.'  

Subjects are placed under more than a thousand lights in a dome (pictured) and recorded by seven cameras so that every angle can be captured. It allows for 'high-fidelity playback'

 

'Through this device, we're able to say we're taking a page out of history and making it come alive,' Milton Maltz, founder of the Maltz Museum, told Fox.  

 

Holograms appear in remarkably clear and believable quality, thanks to an elaborate lighting setup used during the interview process. 

 

Subjects are placed under more than a thousand lights in a dome and recorded by seven cameras so that every angle can be captured. 

 

Developers also used natural language processing that allows viewers to interact with the holograms conversationally. 

Holograms appear in remarkably clear and believable quality, thanks to an elaborate lighting setup used during the interview process

 

Developers used natural language processing that allows viewers to interact with holograms conversationally. USC published a video showing students interacting with the hologram

 

'The goal is to develop interactive 3-D exhibits in which learners can have simulated, educational conversations with survivors through the fourth dimension of time,' USC Shoah said in a statement. 

 

'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 their way, to reflect on the deep and meaningful consequences of the Holocaust.' 

USC's Shoah Foundation, which is behind the project, has debuted the 'New Dimensions in Testimony' project at museums across the country and international festivals

 

The project is, in some ways, a race against time, as the next generation may not have the opportunity of hearing from Holocaust survivors directly. 

 

Bernath and other survivors involved in the project also want to make sure their stories are preserved so as to prevent further atrocities from happening. 

 

'The Holocaust should never, ever be forgotten,' Bernath told Fox News. 'I don't know how long I'll be around.'

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