Time-offset interaction with a Holocaust survivor

TitleTime-offset interaction with a Holocaust survivor
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsArtstein, R., D. Traum, O. Alexander, A. Leuski, A. Jones, K. Georgila, P. Debevec, W. Swartout, H. Maio, and S. Smith
Conference NameIntelligent User Interfaces
Date Published02/2014
Conference LocationHaifa, Israel

Time-offset interaction is a new technology that allows for two-way communication with a person who is not available for conversation in real time: a large set of statements are prepared in advance, and users access these statements through natural conversation that mimics face-to-face interaction. Conversational reactions to user questions are retrieved through a statistical classifier, using technology that is similar to previous interactive systems with synthetic characters; however, all of the retrieved utterances are genuine statements by a real person. Recordings of answers, listening and idle behaviors, and blending techniques are used to create a persistent visual image of the person throughout the interaction. A proof-of-concept has been implemented using the likeness of Pinchas Gutter, a Holocaust survivor, enabling short conversations about his family, his religious views, and resistance. This proof-of-concept has been shown to dozens of people, from school children to Holocaust scholars, with many commenting on the impact of the experience and potential for this kind of interface.

Refereed DesignationRefereed