Artificial intelligence recreated the voice of a survivor of the Warsaw Ghetto

Artificial intelligence is not only about deepfakes that pose a threat to public order. New technology is increasingly helping to research history. Now, with its help, the voice of Stella Fidelseid, one of the survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto and the heroine of the exhibition, has been recreated A sea of ​​fire around us. The fate of Jewish civilians during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising at the POLIN Museum.

Artificial intelligence helps historical researchers

I left the bunker and didn't know where to go

– said Stefania Milenbach (Stella Fidelseid) after the war. Now we will hear her voice again. All thanks to artificial intelligence.

Let us present the tragic story of this woman. In April 1943, this then 24-year-old Jewish woman was hiding in hiding places and bunkers in the ghetto. She was one of the few to survive the uprising. She managed to do it because she sneaked from bunker to bunker, hid under a sheet of metal or sat huddled in the closet of an abandoned apartment. Her parents and younger sister were caught and sent to the Treblinka extermination camp. In turn, her husband, physician Salomon Świeca, was transported to Majdanek. There he committed suicide.

After the ghetto uprising, the woman continued to hide. In November 1943, she gave birth to a son in the bunker, but he died a short time later.

After all this, she wrote down her memories and now they are read in the author's voice generated by artificial intelligence. But how is this possible?

Stella Fidelseid emigrated to Brazil after the war. Archival video recordings in Portuguese with her participation from 1997 have been preserved. We managed to access them thanks to the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews and the Visual History Archive of the USC Shoah Foundation. The three-hour interview served as material for learning AI Text-to-Speech technology. Based on it, we could start working on creating a digital version of the Polish voice

– explained to the media Michał Sęk, Chief Creative Officer of Saatchi & Saatchi, which prepared an audio recording of the woman's voice for the Polin museum.

He added that “in the recording generated thanks to artificial intelligence, we hear Stella Fidelseid reading her testimony in Polish, which she wrote down right after the war.”

A sea of ​​fire around us

Exhibition A sea of ​​fire around us. The fate of Jewish civilians during the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising at the POLIN Museum can be viewed in Warsaw until January 8, 2024.

How to listen to a recording of Stella's voice? Everything is possible thanks to geolocation and a specially programmed website. First of all, the recording can be listened to in the area of ​​the former ghetto. To recreate them, you need to scan the QR code placed on posters located at bus stops in the former ghetto.

Saatchi & Saatchi is behind the concept and implementation of the recording.