This AI-boosted service animates the deceased on old photos

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Recently, a company unveiled an online service capable of bringing photos to life. Tools using artificial intelligence can thus notably animate very old photographs.

Animate your ancestors in the photos

The Deep Nostalgia online service is the result of the work of the Israeli company MyHeritage. The goal? Bring old photos back to life using artificial intelligence. More precisely, the service uses a technology developed by the company D-ID, whose specialty is video reconstruction. through deep learning (deep learning). Remember that deep learning consists of integrating a large amount of data into a system in order to achieve a sufficient level of training to obtain results independently.

Deep Nostalgia therefore makes it possible to animate still images in a coherent way, a little as if it were a video. Heads move, smiles are displayed, eyelids move, and eyes can change direction. MyHeritage encourages Internet users to test the service on photos of their deceased ancestors. However, this one can work on any newer photo. It can even be used to animate movie or song stars. Some curious users have even attempted to animate Greek, Roman or other statues.

The service seems to work well although imperfections and other hiccups are easily noticeable. In any case, the result will depend on several factors such as the quality of the photo, the lighting when it was taken or the orientation of the subject in relation to the lens.

A major communication blow

Regarding the privacy of photos, MyHeritage explains that the photos used and the results are not not shared with third parties. The processing of the images is done on the company’s server and the hosting has only one purpose: to allow users to access the content. On the other hand, Deep Nostalgia animates a limited number of images in the case of the free offer. Lifting this restriction therefore implies taking out a monthly subscription.

This is a important communication blow for MyHeritage whose main activity is not the online animation of old photos. Indeed, this company is in fact specialized in DNA analysis as part of genetic convenience tests. The purpose of these tests is to give anyone the opportunity to discover their origins. In 2019, the United States Department of Defense issued a memo to the military. They were advised not to be tempted by these “recreational DNA tests”, as companies in this sector can market the data collected.

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