More and more victims of Nazi persecution and eyewitnesses of the Holocaust pass away. To keep their memories alive it is therefore imperative to develop new strategies to tell their stories to younger generations. MEMORISE will make use of digital technology to digitize diaries of victims, testimonials and other materials that inhere memories, and make them accessible to the general public in new forms. Our plans include the development of a novel smartphone app that narrates victims’ experiences on the basis of diaries, augmented reality (AR) solutions to enhance memorial site visitor experiences and a web-based interface that gives access to all materials and supports narrative virtual experiences for everyone.
MEMORISE will develop:
- An infrastructure to help process 80,000+ holocaust related items to make them persistently accessible to the general public
- Create a suite of digital tools for presenting, narrating and engaging with Heritage of Nazi Persecution (HNP) in new ways
- Create semi-automated, AI-based services in the form of (1) a data processing pipeline to process materials in different languages, and (2) an AI engine to recommend individualised content for each user.
- Create a toolkit of best-practices (data processing, curation, knowledge graph creation, narration & interactive visual exploration, & 3D modelling) to accelerate digital tool usage in cultural heritage & adjacent industries.
MEMORISE is an interdisciplinary and multilingual project benefitting from state-of-the-art research from the humanities and social sciences focusing on HNP research, natural language processing, artificial intelligence, user interface design and visualization. MEMORISE will bring forth advancements to these areas.
MEMORISE is broken up into nine different work packages:
WP1: Project Management. The project management team will ensure the smooth running of the project from start to finish and beyond.
WP2: Data Infrastructure. MEMORISE will extend the use of linked data and knowledge graphs in the heritage domain by refining existing and defining new vocabularies to model HNP and by integrating these into NLP workflows to extract structured information from HNP resources. We will develop APIs for existing tools that support exploiting HNP vocabularies, and for constructing, editing and querying the resulting knowledge graphs. We will develop solutions to integrate large-size data like videos and 3D models with a data repository that provides a user-friendly interface that supports curation processes. One particular outcome will be a translation of the Dutch WW2 thesaurus for international adoption.
WP3: Data Integration. The digitized collections (metadata and historical documents) of the partners and associated institutions within MEMORISE, will be not only connected with each other, but also made available for virtualization, education, research, museum use and communication (via the other WP’s) through a rich annotation and knowledge extraction processes aided by AI powered NLP methods and curated by human experts that will substantially improve efficiency and effectiveness of the process. The approach will be easily scalable to related cultural heritage domains.
WP4: Virtual Environment. MEMORISE will advance the implementation and handling of 3D models by deploying and extending best practices in a novel pipeline model, focusing on sustainable interoperability within the context of the semantic web and sensitive heritage. The specific novelty will be the context-specific integration of knowledge extracted from source materials into spatiotemporal representations of HNP memorial sites. For that purpose, geospatial and temporal metadata will be annotated and connected to a geospatial ontology, which will be tailored for individual memorial sites and thus provide a model to adopt by other historical sites.
WP5: Individual Experience Framework. MEMORISE will propose a novel synthetic agent (AI engine) grounded on neuroscientific principles to understand the users’ cognitive state and assist in the exploration of historical datasets. This agent will be based on a cognitive architecture theory that implements its perception, cognition and action capabilities. The synthetic agent will be able to dynamically build an HNP user model based on multimodal signal interpretation to assess their cognitive states. It will learn from the interactions with the current user and use information from previous experiences, forming a memory unit that the agent will use to refine the content proposal and create an individual experience.
WP6: Visualization, Narration and Learning. MEMORISE will deploy a HNP platform to assist researchers for the first time getting an overview of existing materials. Geo-temporal visualizations will arrange those materials in an appropriate historical context, and a novel map-based network will make the Nazi transportation infrastructure visible. We will develop a comparative reader to allow the parallel reading of Nazi persecution experiences, and we will further explore new ways of storytelling enabled for the first time by AI-based services tailored to the users’ own off-site and on-site experiences. The presentation will include transnational data to highlight global relations across HNP resources.
WP7: Evaluation. MEMORISE for the first time offers a holistic integration of digital heritage culture, considering ethical, educational and social media guidelines and a comprehensive multiphase implementation testing. It will be the first in-depth study on using digital technologies for engaging with HNP and difficult pasts. It will involve many users to evaluate the educational capabilities of our solutions.
WP8: Communication and Dissemination. Communication, dissemination and stakeholder involvement are important parts of the project. Our aims, objectives, activities and results will be publicized widely, both to the general public, as well to specific target groups or institutions which could a use the results of the project for their future work. We will involve relevant target groups in selected project activities (for input and feedback) and provide support and cooperation (research and innovation) with partners outside the consortium and relevant cluster projects
WP9: Ethics. MEMORISE will work with the highest Integrity with the aim to ‘do no harm’, neither to our participants, nor to survivors and their families, and not to historical authenticity and truth. We will demonstrate integrity and professionalism in our methodological approaches, as well as our interpretation of historical materials. We will always act with impartiality, honesty, and transparency. We will always go beyond what is required by the law (privacy and copyright) in each respective country and the European Union
The expected results of MEMORISE relate to the digital tools to preserve and tell the memories on HNP in new forms, its necessary data acquisition, processing, modeling and accessibility means, and embedded educational concepts, e.g. We will create:
- A Document Manager and Knowledge Graph for HNP
- A data annotation pipeline and data curation tool
- Machine translation tools
- Reusable and deployed 3D visualization in two sites
- A report on best-practice workflows (3D modeling and annotation)
- A Individual experience AI engine
- A HNP platform for visual exploration of HNP
- A functional prototypes for digital narration & learning
- Various Educational and Social Media Concepts
- Design, production, installation, and evaluation at two memorial sites