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Home Technology Deep Nostalgia brings your ancestors back to life by bringing their photos...

Deep Nostalgia brings your ancestors back to life by bringing their photos to life with AI

An online service offers to use image processing algorithms to animate the faces of your ancestors who appear in photos.

We already knew the sites that offer to colorize old historical photos or simply snapshots taken in black and white, by mobilizing image processing algorithms, to magnify them. But with the launch of Deep Nostalgia, the Israeli company MyHeritage does even more: it uses artificial intelligence tools to bring images to life.

AI to bring photos to life

Specifically, it employs technology developed by D-ID, a company that does video reconstruction using deep learning (deep learning). This method of working in artificial intelligence consists of making a system ingest large quantities of data to make it reach a sufficient level of training so that it can then achieve a result on its own.

With the solution invented by D-ID, MyHeritage is therefore able to animate still images coherently, as if it were a video: the head can nod, a smile can appear at the corners of the lips. and, more remarkable still, details as precise and fine as the gaze, which can change direction, or the eyes, whose eyelids move, are animated by the AI.

past ancestor
The tool can animate faces in vintage photos, if it can detect them. But the results are variable. // Source: foundin_a_attic

With its tool, MyHeritage especially encourages Internet users to experiment with photos of their ancestors. The tool ” guide the movements in the animation so you can see your ancestors smiling, blinking and turning their heads. It really brings your photos to life », Writes the site. But nothing prohibits the use of other clichés, old or not, such as former stars of the cinema or the song.

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Internet users have also been numerous to have fun animating photos of stars or historical figures, such as Abraham Lincoln. Others have hijacked the tool to see if it could also recognize the faces of statues and it is fascinating to see sculptures from Greece, Rome or elsewhere “come to life” thanks to computers. And that, even if we quickly detect imperfections or failures.

Out of curiosity, we also had Deep Nostalgia mill period photos of Alain Delon, Toshiro Mifune, Grace Kelly or Marlen Dietrich. Not all tests were convincing: the one with Grace Kelly gave the impression of diving into the disturbing valley. The result will depend on several factors, such as the quality of the photo, the lighting of the model or its orientation in relation to the lens.

What about the privacy of photos?

MyHeritage states that the photos used and videos created ” are not [pas] shared with third parties “And that the computer processing (animation and enhancement of the image)” are done on MyHeritage servers “. In addition, MyHeritage does not claim any rights in the video and says that the hosting of photos and videos has no other purpose than to allow you to access them.

It is not specified whether the snapshots sent by Internet users are used in passing to train the D-ID image processing tool that MyHeritage can use. However, it is specified that Deep Nostalgia only animates a limited number of faces with the free offer. To lift this restriction, you must subscribe to the full account, which is billed ten or twenty euros per month, with or without the reduction.

As MyHeritage is domiciled in Israel, the company must comply with local laws. However, this is considered adequate in relation to European Union standards – and therefore a satisfactory level of protection. Elsewhere in the world, few countries have this status: there are also Switzerland, Japan, Argentina, Uruguay, New Zealand and probably soon the United Kingdom.

While the Deep Nostalgia service can keep you entertained for a while, that is not MyHeritage’s core business. The Israeli company specializes in DNA analysis to do genetic testing for convenience – in short, discovering its origins. While this can be entertaining at first, it’s actually a really bad idea. And even banned in France.

Photo credit of the one:
Renaud Camus

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