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Deep Nostalgia AI brings your photos to life just like in the ‘Harry Potter’ movies

Bring great-great-great grandma back to life using deep learning.

Deep Nostalgia AI brings your photos to life just like in the ‘Harry Potter’ movies

If you’ve ever seen a Harry Potter movie and were enchanted by those movie photos seen in the world’s newspapers and on mantles, you’re going to want to give a new tool called Deep Nostalgia from genealogy site MyHeritage a try.

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Or maybe not. It depends on how you feel about AI animating dead people.

What Deep Nostalgia does is animate the faces of people in photographs so they look alive. It achieves this through deep learning technology—technology that is similar to that used in creating deepfakes.

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The way Deep Nostalgia works is that, when a user uploads a photograph, the company’s AI will zoom in and enhance the face in it, then, based on its angle in the photograph, will merge that face over the top of one in a series of “driver” animations. These are short recorded videos of a person moving their head and blinking their eyes. The result is “a realistic depiction of how a person could have moved and looked if they were captured on video.”

To give you an idea of how powerful the deep learning tech is behind Deep Nostalgia, the program can also simulate parts of the person’s face that do not appear in the original photo, like ears and teeth. This gives the animated face realism when the AI makes the person in the photo’s head turn or have them smile.

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There’s definitely a “wow” factor involved when you see the images Deep Nostalgia produces for the first time, but the company behind it also acknowledges that some people may find the process “uncomfortable.”

You can try out Deep Nostalgia to see how you feel about it on their website here.

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About the author

Michael Grothaus is a novelist, journalist, and former screenwriter. His debut novel EPIPHANY JONES is out now from Orenda Books. You can read more about him at MichaelGrothaus.com

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