Deep Nostalgia service of MyHeritage brings old photos to life

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Try deep-fake trickery free of charge.

Deepfake’s technology has gotten a lot of bad press for things like making revenge porn and putting words in the mouths of politicians, but it can also be used for good, albeit slightly unsettling, reasons: Genealogy Site MyHeritage uses an AI-enabled tool to animate images of long-dead relatives.

Called “Deep Nostalgia,” this service allows users to upload a picture of an individual or people so that they can be brought to life by using an AI approved by the Israeli firm D-ID. Their heads are pivoting, their eyes are moving and blinking, and they even smile as if they were posing for photographs.

The artificial intelligence behind the method uses a qualified algorithm that uses pre-recorded images of people shifting their faces and taking different movements. It adds the most relevant ones to the picture submitted that is being processed. While the result may sound a little disturbing, a lot of customers praised the service after it gave life to long-standing family members.

While Deep Nostalgia could have the potential for misuse, the company writes that adding speech isn’t an option “in order to prevent abuse, such as the creation of deepfake videos of living people.”

If you’ve got any old photographs and would like to see their contents reanimated (faces only), MyHeritage is letting people try Deep Nostalgia without handing over any money. Just sign up for free and you can upload five photos that will be enhanced and turned into gifs. Uploading more than five requires a paid account.

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MyHeritage, which a U.S. private equity firm is acquiring for around $600 million, writes in its FAQs that no photos will end up in the hands of third parties. It also assures people that “photos uploaded without completing signup are automatically deleted to protect your privacy.”

MyHeritage, which the U.S. private equity company is purchasing for about $600 million, writes in its FAQs that no pictures will end up in the possession of third parties. It also guarantees that “images posted without registration will be deleted immediately to protect your privacy.”

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