Conversations with History: The New Dimensions in Testimony Project

USC Center for Artificial Intelligence in Society

  • ThursdaySeptember 14, 20174:00pm to 5:00pm
University of Southern California
Mudd Hall
Room 101
3709 Trousdale Pkwy
Los Angeles, CA 90089

One of the best and most engaging methods of learning about history, and particularly implications for future behavior, is direct conversation with those who can give a first person account. The USC Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT) has developed “time-offset interaction” technology to allow interactive conversations with recordings of an eyewitness to history, so that much of this experience can be had without the synchronous participation of the subject. I will describe and demo the use of this technology in the New Dimensions in Testimony project - a collaboration with the USC Shoah Foundation and Conscience Display, in which people can interact with Holocaust survivors in this manner. Time permitting, I will also present its use in a similar project to increase awareness of the consequences of sexual assault in the military.

David Traum is the Director for Natural Language Research at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies and a research faculty member of the Department of Computer Science at USC. He leads the Natural Language Dialogue Group at ICT; his research focus is on interactive dialogue between humans and machines.