Meet an interactive Holocaust survivor biography

Olga Horak and Yvonne Engelman are part of the six Sydney-based Holocaust survivors whose biographies have been brought to life as part of Dimensions in Testimony, in collaboration with the USC Shoah Foundation.

Over an intensive five days over the summer of 2021-21, each survivor answered around 1,000 questions about their experiences in the Holocaust, their lives, interests and hopes for the future, while being filmed within a specialised rig with 23 cameras. 

Using artificial intelligence (AI) and next-generation language processing, the many hours of footage from these interviews have been transformed into an interactive biography capable of lifelike conversation. 

Olga and Yvonne’s interactive biographies are the first to be released publicly for training, so they can learn to respond to audience questions.

Leaving a lasting legacy

When it comes to learning about history, nothing quite compares to having an intimate conversation with the people who were there to experience it. This is why meeting Holocaust survivors and hearing their stories has always has been one of the most meaningful experiences we offer at the Museum.

Sadly, we have to prepare for a time when we no longer have survivors left with us. Interactive technologies, like Olga and Yvonne’s biographies, are critical to this plan, as they offer a way for future visitors to have authentic and meaningful interactions with important eyewitnesses to history. 

The remaining four interactive Holocaust survivor biographies will be available for testing sessions soon. You’ll be able to sit down with the biographies of Eddie Jaku, Kuba Enoch, Paul Drexler, and Francine Lazarus, and ask them any questions about their lives.

Help us make history

The more questions they are asked, the better the technology becomes.

These interactive biographies are in an important testing phase, which means they’re still learning to connect any question you ask with the many hours of footage that can be drawn on as answers. The biographies need to be asked tens of thousands of questions before they’re ready for exhibition, and we can’t do it without you. 

The conversations you have with Olga and Yvonne will be key to preparing their interactive biographies for future exhibitions. We invite you to come along, ask them a question and watch them respond to you as though they’re actually sitting right in front of you. 

Join a session

When?

  • 11.15am, Monday to Thursday
  • 11am and 1pm on Sundays

Attending is included in the price of admission. Simply let us know you’ll be joining upon arrival at the Museum on the day. 

 

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