Did you live through 9/11? Tell future generations about it with an AI-powered interactive video

By Michael Grothaus

September 10, 2021

Over the coming days, social media channels will be awash in people honoring the 20th anniversary of 9/11 as well as recounting their experiences on that day through tweets and Facebook posts. But one startup is offering users a unique way for people to tell their story of 9/11: by creating an AI-powered oral history video.

StoryFile is a company that lets people create interactive videos about almost any topic. The person creating a video records answers to questions, after which a viewer can literally ask that video a question (via their computer mic and a web browser). The person in the video will answer the viewer based on the question that was asked. In other words, StoryFile turns videos into two-way conversations. It’s a cool blending of 21st-century artificial intelligence and the millennia-old technique of oral storytelling.

And for the 9/11 anniversary, StoryFile is giving anyone access to their StoryFile Life platform to record their interactive oral history of that tragic day. (The platform is in beta and still being tweaked before its official release in October.) This means anyone can record their own interactive oral history about 9/11 and save it for posterity and family members, whether current or ones who have yet to be born.

To take advantage of StoryFile’s 9/11 offering, just do the following:

    Sign up for a free trial of StoryFile Life here.

    Record your introductory answers to some basic questions about yourself.

    Then select the additional questions based on the 9/11 topic and answer those.

Anyone you send your StoryFile link to will then be able to ask the recorded you questions about 9/11. The videos they are watching will automatically play back the answer to their desired question.

StoryFile’s 9/11 offering isn’t the first historical subject the company has touched on. The platform has been used to help Holocaust survivors as well as witnesses of the Tulsa Race Massacre save their interactive oral histories. As for 9/11, if you have a story, it’s worth recording. Your descendants may be grateful you did so they could hear about one of the most historic events in American history directly from you—even generations from now.