WW2 survivors turned into AI

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The National WWII Museum in New Orleans has launched an innovative project that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to allow visitors to engage in virtual conversations with World War II veterans. This initiative, known as "Voices From the Front," is designed to preserve the stories and experiences of veterans and home front workers from the war era, many of whom have already passed away or are no longer able to share their stories in person due to advanced age or health issues. The project involves life-sized projections or images of real people that appear to respond to visitors' questions in real-time. The AI system draws on hours of pre-recorded interviews with individuals who have diverse experiences from the war, including service members from different branches, races, and genders, as well as workers on the home front. These interviews include responses to hundreds of questions about their personal lives and wartime service, allowing the AI to match visitors' questions to the most appropriate pre-recorded answers1357. The technology behind "Voices From the Front" is similar to interactive interviews with Holocaust survivors produced by the University of Southern California's Shoah Foundation, which was founded by film director Steven Spielberg. The Shoah Foundation's project also uses life-sized projections of real people and AI to facilitate real-time interactions with visitors at Holocaust museums across the U.S.4. The exhibit at the National WWII Museum was unveiled as part of the opening of the museum’s new Malcolm S. Forbes Rare and Iconic Artifacts Gallery. It features 18 veterans and home front workers who sat for thousands of questions, and the AI uses voice recognition to process visitors' questions and search for relevant answers from the subjects' interviews. The video responses are not generated by AI but are selected from the best clips from the interviews357. Among the veterans featured in the exhibit is Hershel Woodrow “Woody” Williams, a Medal of Honor winner who fought at Iwo Jima, Japan, and passed away in June 2022 after recording his responses. The exhibit also includes stories from individuals like Theodore Britton Jr., one of the U.S. Marine Corps’ first Black recruits, who later became U.S. ambassador to Barbados and Grenada357. The "Voices From the Front" project is seen as a way to capture the attention of younger museum visitors and to preserve these important stories for future generations. As the technology improves and more questions are asked, the AI mechanism is expected to learn and become more responsive, with the goal of diminishing lag time and enhancing the relevance of the answers to the questions posed by visitors1357.
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