BEACHWOOD, Ohio (WJW) – A local museum is paying tribute to Reverend Otis Moss, Jr., a legendary civil rights leader and Cleveland icon, with a unique, interactive exhibit. 

The Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage in Beachwood is using artificial intelligence technology to create a virtual version of Rev.  Moss that will interact with visitors and answer their questions.

“To be able to offer students and adults the opportunity to have a primary source reference is an incredible gift,” Maltz Museum spokesperson Dahlia Fisher said.

When asked a question about his childhood, the AI version of Rev. Moss responded, “I was blessed as a child in spite of surrounding circumstances of evil and injustice.”

Reverend Moss, now 87 years old, is a founding board member of the Maltz Museum. Curators felt that his wealth of knowledge and central role in the civil rights movement would make for fascinating conversations with visitors for years to come. 

“When we’re all gone and the next generation is able to come in and talk, really, with Rev. Moss, using this artificial intelligence technology, it’s going to inspire them to think and learn and listen,” said Fisher.

Story File created a large database of Otis Moss’ thoughts and experiences, by conducting hours of interviews with the legendary civil rights leader. 

The museum is now inviting Northeast Ohioans to help conduct tests of the interactive exhibit by posing hundreds of questions for Reverend Moss. 

“We’re hoping there are questions that he doesn’t quite have the answers to because the more activity there is, the better the technology becomes,” said Fisher.

The beta testing of the interactive display runs between Sept. 1 and Oct. 22.

Those interested can register on the museum’s website.