AI

Ancestry company uses deepfakes to bring old photos to life

Read more at mashable.com

While some companies are nefarious uses of deepfakes, others are embracing the technology for more playful reasons.

MyHeritage, a family ancestry company that offers DNA testing much like 23andMe, has a new AI-powered tool called “.” The technology takes your old photos and animates the people in them, producing a full fledged moving picture kind of like the iPhone’s Live Photos.

To create this completely automated tool, MyHeritage partnered with a company called D-ID, which has written an algorithm that creates these animated videos out of old images. Deepfake technology has often been used to “teach” a computer to seamlessly swap the faces of two different people in a video. MyHeritage’s tool, however, uses D-ID’s deep learning technology to automatically animate old still images.

And the results are quite stunning. Here’s an old photo that MyHeritage uploaded to its tool:

And here’s what Deep Nostalgia was able to create:

Ancestry company uses deepfakes to bring old photos of your great grandma to life

Although, if it was an old photo of your deceased relative, one can also see how it can be at least a little bit weird.

There are some to the technology, though. For example, if there’s more than one person in an old photo, a user can only animate one individual. Also, the animations are limited to the head, face, and neck. So, while you might wish to see grandpa strutting around town, it’ll still be pretty cool to see him look around and crack a smirk.

To use Deep Nostalgia, all you have to do is signup at the MyHeritage site and upload your photo. The service will automatically use its already-existing AI-powered photo tools to clean up your image. Then it’ll get to work bringing your old photo to life using pre-recorded movements and gestures.

Ancestry company uses deepfakes to bring old photos of your great grandma to life

The service is free, if you don’t mind a MyHeritage watermark on the bottom right-hand side of your now-moving image. 

Although, free often does come with a price. DNA testing companies have been criticized over data privacy concerns before. One of the giants in the industry, 23andMe, previously to provide access to the data it collects from the kits to a pharmaceutical company. Databases created by these ancestry companies have even been used by law enforcement to .

If that doesn’t bother you and you’d like to try MyHeritage’s Deep Nostalgia tool, you can find it .

Read more at mashable.com

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