Artificial Intelligence: AI Can Animate A Dead Relative’s Photo So It Will Smile At You

March 1, 2021 | Artificial Intelligence, News
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This is the new “Deep Nostalgia” feature from genealogy company MyHeritage.

My Heritage, which uses at-home DNA tests and a huge historical database to construct your family tree, has launched a new feature titled Deep Nostalgia. It allows a user to animate old still photos of long-dead and dear relatives so it appears they are on a video. (PC Mag)

Magic of deepfakery

MyHeritage roped in D-ID, an Israeli computer vision firm, and its proprietary, AI-based facial reenactment technology. It enables the creation of high-quality, realistic video footage, using any “driver” video to guide the movements, expressions, and speech of the target actor or still photo subject.

The technology works equally well with black-and-white photos, or ones originally shot in color. Colorized or restored photographs also work well.

Users have to sign up for an account at MyHeritage. It’s free. They can then upload a photograph for animation using the driver video provided by the company.

The new feature drives business for MyHeritage

Reportedly, the new feature from MyHeritage has proved to be extremely popular. Users have been exchanging these videos on social media. This has resulted in a lot of new business for the genealogy site.

“Making incredible family history discoveries can often feel like we’re getting to know our ancestors on a personal level,” says MyHeritage. “Seeing our ancestors move makes them even more real to us, and creates an encounter with our family history that is more personal and lifelike than ever before.”

Deep Nostalgia is also available on the free MyHeritage mobile app, which users can download from the App Store or Google Play.

Users can use the app’s inbuilt scanner to directly scan and upload physical photos and albums to MyHeritage, where they can be preserved for future generations.

Privacy and security

“While many love the Deep Nostalgia™ feature and consider it magical, others find it uncanny and are uncomfortable with the results,” says MyHeritage in its announcement. “Our driver videos don’t include speech in order to prevent abuse of this feature, such as the creation of “deep fake” videos of living people.”

The company also assures that your animations are created solely on its servers. The photos, or the videos, are not shared with any third party.

Related Story:  China’s Huawei And Megvii Tested AI To Pinpoint Uighur Muslims                                                   

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