By Vaishnavi Vijay
Recently, a Twitter user gave life to pictures of Indian historic figures like Bhagat Singh, Swami Vivekananda, Munshi Premchand and others by using an AI tool called ‘Deep Nostalgia’. ‘Deep Nostalgia’ is an artificial intelligence tool, released by genealogy website MyHeritage, which creates facial animations and fits them to the framework of still photographs, animating them in the process. Quoting verbatim from the MyHeritage blogpost- “This feature brings your old family photos to life on a whole new level”.
Post its launch, photos animated using Deep Nostalgia became all the rage on social media, instantly fascinating many netizens. Soon enough, it amassed enough attention to grow to trending status online. Different Twitter users used the tool in different ways; some added facial expressions and animations like blinking and smiling to photographs of loved ones, others applied the technology to historic pics.
Keerthik Sasidharan, one of the users who animated the inspiring revolutionary figure from the Indian freedom struggle, Shaheed Bhagat Singh, felt it to be almost surreal as he ran photos of the martyr who was hanged at the age of just 24 through the Heritage AI algorithm. He expressed the same sense of wonder while sharing the first in a series of animations he created. He also animated pics of other prominent Indian figures like Swami Vivekananda, Lokmanya Tilak, Munshi Premchand, Kasturba Gandhi etc.
All that it takes is signing up for a free account on the MyHeritage website in order to create one’s own versions of animated still photographs. A subscription plan would enable access to editing a greater number of still photographs as opposed to an unpaid plan. The videos have raked in millions of engagements on the microblogging platform, accruing more than half a million views and hundreds of amazed responses.
In a blog post, MyHeritage explained the driving force behind this algorithm, that being DeepLearning. Powered by this technology, Deep Nostalgia enables one to animate faces within photographs transforming the experience of viewing photos into a more engaging and interactive one.