Genealogy site, MyHeritage, has unveiled a new AI tool that turns photos of deceased relatives into, well, creepy videos.
The service, which was launched late February, uses an AI technique called deep learning to automatically animate faces in photos uploaded to the system.
Deep Nostalgia, as it is called, is powered by tech developed by Israeli tech firm D-ID.
The app, which is easy to use, and on free trial, has been rushed by users who spared nothing, but went ahead, uploading photos of deceased families, and animating them into videos which have gone viral.
Deep Nostalgia works somewhat like the iOS Live Photos feature, which adds a few seconds of video to help smartphone photographers find the best shot.
However, the little difference is that Deep Nostalgia take photos from any camera and makes a gif out of them.
The program uses pre-recorded driver videos of facial movements and it applies the one that works best for the still photo in question.
According to the developer, Deep Nostalgia’s main intent is to allow its users upload photos of deceased loved ones, and see them brought to life.
When commenting about how the app works, MyHeritage says:
“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.“
MyHeritage added that Deep Nostalgia does not generate speech. The genealogy company added that the limit on speech is to prevent people from using it to make deepfake videos.
However, the company made a voice for a reanimated Abraham Lincoln.
To use the app, users would have to sign up for a free account on MyHeritage and then upload a photo. After which, the app would go through the work on its own, and present the user with a gif of the uploaded picture.
On the FAQ page, the app says it does not provide the photos to any third parties. Also, on its main page, a message reads “photos uploaded without completing sign-up are automatically deleted to protect your privacy.”
Here are some of the animated images generated by Deep Nostalgia’s engine:
Hope you don’t get nightmares from some of the images.
The app can only handle single headshots and can only animate faces, so, if you plan on animating mummies to look like walking dead models, you’d have to wait for the next tech innovation.
MyHeritage only allows five pictures for its free users. To animate more images, you would have to upgrade to a paid account.
Anyway, good luck creating nightmares.