June 22, 2021
Uncanny as it sounds, Deep Nostalgia™, an AI-based app is bringing old pictures to life.
In February, MyHeritage, a company that specialized in video reenactment using deep learning released Deep Nostalgia™, an AI tool that brings historical figures or ancestors back to life.
Ever since the release of Deep Nostalgia™, the internet has experienced over 67 million animations taking place. This sensational wave stuck by the genealogy website, MyHeritage has taken the internet by storm.
Licensed by the company MyHeritage, this application allows users to animate old photos to create a realistic and high-quality video making the photo look like it’s real. The app demonstrates a feature allowing it to use multiple drivers prepared by the company. Each of these drivers consists of a video with a fixed sequence in it, these sequences demonstrate the movement and the gesture of the photo. Deep Nostalgia™ can easily apply these drivers to the face given in the photo, thus creating a short video that makes the image look like it is alive.
Even more, these drivers guide the movements taking place in the video or animation, therefore, allowing your ancestor to smile, blink and even turn their heads. The driver does not include speech to prevent the abuse of the app. For instance, creating deepfake video of people who were still alive.
As much as it is fascinating, some people found the application weird while some find it magical. However, the results can be controversial with different people having different opinions about the technology. The company insists people create videos and animation and share it on social media in an attempt to understand what family members or friends have to say about the feature. All in all, this feature is intended for nostalgic use and has nothing to do with anything else.
Deep learning, a sophisticated form of AI can now be used to solve highly complex problems such as human-level control, big data analytics, and computer vision. However, deep learning has advanced to a level wherein creating software that can pose threats to national security and privacy is likely possible. To be precise, one of these applications is “deepfakes.” These deepfake algorithms have the capability to create fake videos and images that make it difficult for a human to determine whether it is real.
As far as the application we’re talking of, Deep Nostalgia™, it is just an app created to bring people closer to their departed loved ones. For some, it is pure entertainment with historical and even celebrities’ pictures were seen smiling, blinking, and turning their heads.
The company did not add any speech feature to the app to avoid any misuse. However, the company did release an advertisement about the company, an animation of the former president of the U.S. Abraham Lincoln with audio in it. At the moment, it is still possible to determine the animation footage to be fake. But with advancements in deepfake technology, the quality of the video will improve, making it challenging to identify which footage is real and which footage isn’t.
In reality, deepfakes can be exploited. However, the inspiration is, anything that can be created by AI can also be destroyed using AI. As a result, detection methods can be improved. While current methods seem to be more focused on finding the weakness of the attacker, it needs to be drawn toward understanding the real intent of people publishing deepfakes.