Image: StoryFile, Meta
In a VR experience, you can talk to a contemporary witness of the Second World War. The 88-year-old wants to preserve her history in this way.
The technology allows users to “talk to history through the people who went through it”. That’s how Stephen Smith describes “Tell Me, Inge”, a VR experience in which Holocaust survivor Inge Auerbacher recounts her experiences as a young Jewish child in a Nazi concentration camp.
Smith is the co-founder of StoryFile, a US company that combines virtual reality and artificial intelligence to allow users to have an immersive conversation with a contemporary witness.
A powerful conversation with a contemporary witness
“Tell Me, Inge” is a collaboration between StoryFile, the World Jewish Congress and Meta to preserve Auerbacher’s story beyond her death and make it “tangible” for future generations.
During the experience, Inge Auerbacher sits across from you and you “talk” to her. You can choose from several pre-defined questions and the AI will steer the conversation in the right direction according to your choice. This is designed to give the impression of a natural conversation with Auerbacher.
Meanwhile, 3D animations and historical archive material run in the background to illustrate what is being said. For the video recordings, Auerbacher answered around 60 questions in German and English over two days.
VR and AI to preserve Inge’s story
For the 88-year-old, “Tell Me, Inge” is a way of preserving her story: “When you’re dead, you’re gone – not everyone believes in heaven. And it’s important to me that this history does not die,” says Auerbacher in an interview.
Tell Me, Inge is available for free on the StoryFile website. In addition to the VR version, the experience is also available for PC and smartphone.