A new trend has hit the internet, namely Tik Tok, where people are reanimating people from their past. No. We’re not kidding. An app called MyHeritage has developed and uploaded the technology to allow people to upload images of their loved ones and it will reanimate their face.
Some people are loving it, getting another chance to see their lost ones smile at them, and whilst that warms our hearts, we’re yet to decide whether it’s haunting or heartwarming. On MyHeritage’s site, they’ve run through the basics so that we can get our brains around the bizarre-ness that is their new tech.
How does it work?
MyHeritage licensed the tech from D-ID, a company that specialises in video reenactment. MyHeritage has integrated it with its own ethos to animate faces in historical images and create realistic movements.
The gestures in the videos are real human gestures, acted out by blueprint models. Most of these models work for MyHeritage. The end result is, of course, not authentic. It is a simulation.
— Andrey Frolov (@kznsq) February 27, 2021
How much does it cost?
To use MyHeritage’s Deep Nostalgia tech, you have to access their site and upload. Users who have a complete subscription to the site already can use Deep Nostalgia as many times as they like, other users can generate several animations for free, but it will have a watermark.
What else can I do on myHeritage?
MyHeritage is a family tree builder. It allows users to search for their ancestors and create a detailed family tree with information they may have otherwise not had access to. Users can get a 14 day free trial, and after that prices range from £59 upwards per year. The company also runs genealogy kitt analyses, so you can order one and trace your heritage across the globe.
What are the responses to Deep Nostalgia?
Well, whether they’re creeped out or love it, the internet is definitely fascinated by the technology. And that’s unsurprising, considering that just 3 years ago it took the Guardian several hours on a powerful PC to create a 15-second face-swap of Thatcher and Theresa May.
Similar tech is being used to create ‘deep fakes, such as the viral TikTok account ‘deeptomcruise’ which has somebody acting as Hollywood actor Tom Cruise. The copy is that good that programmes designed to recognise manipulated media can’t even spot the difference.
We think we’ve settled on a bit of both heartwarming and haunting. Except for fake Tom Cruise. That’s unsettling. But all of this just goes to show that we never know what technology will be created next. Maybe someone will design deep fake technology for real life. Who wouldn’t want to be perceived as someone else every now and then? No? Just us?