AI ‘Time Machine’ transports your photos to another historical era

If you’ve ever wondered what you’d look like as a Viking, Roman Warrior or Medieval Knight, look no further.

Genealogy website MyHeritage has released ‘AI Time Machine’, an online tool that can reimagine you as if you were from another historical era.

The new AI tool, available on desktop and mobile web browsers, turns personal photos from your phone or computer into “hyperrealistic” images.

Anyone can see themselves as an ancient Greek warrior, Egyptian pharaoh, medieval knight, Victorian lady, 1960s hippie and more.

AI Time Machine users can see themselves as an ancient Greek warrior, Egyptian pharaoh, medieval knight, WWII nurse and more

AI Time Machine users can see themselves as an ancient Greek warrior, Egyptian pharaoh, medieval knight, WWII nurse and more

Here, AI Time Machine user “Nathan” appears reimagined as an Egyptian pharaoh, Viking, Roman army general and more. The left is one of the original input images

HOW IT WORKS?

AI Time Machine uses text-to-image artificial intelligence (AI) technology to create photorealistic images of a person as they may have appeared in different periods of history.

It is based on a deep learning, text-to-image model released in 2022 called Stable Diffusion, and personalization technology licensed by MyHeritage from Astria, a company specializing in AI image generation.

Using anywhere between 10 and 25 photos of a person, AI Time Machine builds a model of that person in a variety of different poses and settings from the original input photos.

Then, from predefined themes defined at different times, he synthesizes “hyperrealistic” images of the person as a historical figure.

MyHeritage specializes in what’s called deepfake technology – a form of synthetic media where a person in an existing image or video is altered or replaced with someone else’s likeness.

However, deepfakes are not without controversy – a growing cause for concern is their ability to contribute to the spread of fake news, misplaced identity and even fraud.

Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage, who has tried the tool himself, said AI Time Machine is a “cool new way to connect people to their family history” by making them look like their ancestors.

“Over the past three years, we’ve released many successful features that use the power of AI to bring historic photos to life,” he said.

“AI Time Machine is a new twist on this theme, inviting you to travel back in time and see yourself as you might have looked back in your ancestors’ time.”

To use AI Time Machine, you need to head to the tool webpage and upload 10-25 photos of a single person, taken on different days and in a variety of settings, poses and angles.

The subject can be yourself or anyone else, but all photos uploaded must be of the same person.

If you try the tool with someone else’s photos, the company wants you to act “responsibly” by getting their permission.

It also asks all users not to make fun of politicians by adding photos of Putin, Biden, Trump – and that strictly no photos of Nazis are allowed either.

MyHeritage also warns that nudity, photos of swimsuits or photos of minors are not allowed – “AI Time Machine should not be used on children”.

The tool requires you to upload the photos first – and only then does it require you to log in or register for a MyHeritage account.

If you decide to opt out at this point, it says photos uploaded without completing registration “are automatically deleted to protect your privacy.”

For those who register, a model of the chosen individual is created and cast according to dozens of predefined “themes” in different historical eras.

Maya (original bottom left entry) appears under a variety of “themes”, including a Viking (main image)

To use AI Time Machine, you need to go to the tool's webpage and upload 10-25 photos of the subject, taken on different days and in a variety of settings, poses, and angles.

To use AI Time Machine, you need to go to the tool's webpage and upload 10-25 photos of the subject, taken on different days and in a variety of settings, poses, and angles.

To use AI Time Machine, you need to go to the tool’s webpage and upload 10-25 photos of the subject, taken on different days and in a variety of settings, poses, and angles.

Watermarks are added to all AI-generated images to distinguish them from genuine photos, which could otherwise contribute to online misinformation.

It typically takes 30 minutes to two hours to create results from the original input images; therefore, users will receive an email when they are ready.

Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage, reimagined as a 1960s hippie

Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage, reimagined as a 1960s hippie

Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage, reimagined as a 1960s hippie

Images can be uploaded in sets of eight or individually, for easy sharing on social networks like WhatsApp, Instagram and Facebook.

The feature is free at launch for a limited introductory period (with a limit of one template and 50 themes per user, totaling 400 images).

However, past this limit, it will become a paid feature. MyHeritage said it would reveal exact pricing details in the near future.

AI Time Machine is the newest AI-based photo tool on MyHeritage, the Israeli genealogy platform that launched in 2003 and has grown in popularity ever since.

Gilad Japheth in several historical figures. He said AI Time Machine lets you “travel back in time and see yourself as you might have looked back at the time of your ancestors.”

MyHeritage is well known for its web services and products such as saliva-based DNA test kits that claim to reveal “the ethnic groups and geographic regions you are from”.

AI Time Machine is a follow-up to Deep Nostalgia, another online tool released last year that animates old photos of deceased family members or historical figures.

Examples include Queen Victoria, American writer Mark Twain and English nurse Florence Nightingale.

Anyone can use the tool on the Deep Nostalgia Webpage by uploading or dragging and dropping an image – although, similarly, to see the results, you’ll need a MyHeritage account.

In 2020, the company released both MyHeritage Photo Enhancer and MyHeritage In Color, which upscale and colorize black-and-white and faded-color photos, respectively.

AN AI TOOL SEEMS TO BRING THE DEAD TO LIFE

Genealogy website MyHeritage unveiled a bizarre new online tool earlier in 2021 that can animate old photos of deceased family members.

Free Deepfake technology, called Deep Nostalgia, takes any photo and animates the subject’s face – with eerily realistic and unsettling results.

Examples provided by MyHeritage show historical figures, including Queen Victoria, Mark Twain and Florence Nightingale, brought to life.

Deep Nostalgia was developed by researchers from the Israeli company D-ID, which specializes in video reconstruction using deep learning.

Anyone can use the tool on the Deep Nostalgia Webpage by uploading or dragging and dropping an image – although to see the results you will need a MyHeritage account.

Read more

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: