Over the last couple of weeks, we came across this interesting trend on Twitter. People animating pictures of their late relatives or famous personalities that are no more. This piqued our attention since we knew that Artificial Intelligence was being deployed to achieve this feat. This led us to explore ‘My Heritage’, the brainchild of tech veteran and experienced genealogist Gilad Japhet.
We move our spotlight onto MyHeritage’s much-talked-about feature, Deep Nostalgia. This amazing technology animates the faces in your family photos & older pictures to give you a feeling of shock & awe.
What is 'Deep Nostalgia'?
Users can upload images to the photos section of the app, which is designed for researching family trees and submitting DNA samples to MyHeritage. The new feature provides an ‘animate’ option that can automatically produce a video of approximately ten seconds with the photo subject smiling and looking around. The technology allows us to animate the photo so it looks like a video of a person in front of us.
Some people call this artificial intelligence, but the reality is this technology will enhance us. So instead of artificial intelligence, I think we'll augment our intelligence — Ginni Rometty
How does this technology work?
It uses AI-enabled synthetic media is being used as a tool to animate faces in the photo. This technology for animating photos was licensed by MyHeritage from D-ID, a company specializing in video reenactment using deep learning. MyHeritage integrated this technology to animate the faces in historical photos and create high-quality, realistic video footage. The Deep Nostalgia™ feature uses several drivers prepared by MyHeritage. Each driver is a video consisting of a fixed sequence of movements and gestures. Deep Nostalgia™ can very accurately apply the drivers to a face in your still photo, creating a short video that you can share with your friends and family. The driver guides the movements in the animation so you can see your ancestors smile, blink, and turn their heads.
What about the movements & gestures?
There are several possible sequences of gestures that can be applied to a photo, each originating from a driver video created by MyHeritage in advance. Their system automatically decides which sequence to apply to a specific face based on its orientation. An interesting point here is that the gestures in the driver videos that are used to create the animation sequences are real human gestures & the actors in most of these blueprint videos are employees of MyHeritage.
The Black Mirror-style pull of seeing long-lost relatives — or famous people from another era — brought to a synthetic approximation of life, eyes swiveling, faces tilting as if they’re wondering why they’re stuck inside this useless digital photo frame is a sight to behold. Artificial Intelligence is playing a crucial role in powering this feature which tugs on your heartstrings & leaves you with a deep feeling of nostalgia!
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