‘Creepy’ new AI brings great classical composers to life with deepfakery

1 March 2021, 19:21 | Updated: 1 March 2021, 21:50

‘Deep Nostalgia’ AI composers
‘Deep Nostalgia’ AI composers. Picture: Deep Nostalgia / MyHeritage

By Kyle Macdonald

An online service is using ‘deep learning’ to create videos from historical and iconic photos and paintings. And it is eerily accurate.

Ever wondered what it might be like to have some footage of Beethoven on your camera rool? Or a charming video of young Mozart? Well, now you can do just that.

‘Deep Nostalgia’, a new service from the genealogy site MyHeritage, uses artificial intelligence (AI) to animate old photos. The accuracy of the animations has meant it has quickly gone viral around the world.

Though the app was intended to explore old family photos, we thought we could try it on some of our classical music forebears.

The AI brings iconic images of the great composers to life with eerie accuracy. It’s like Bach, Beethoven and Clara Schumann are in the room with us (watch below).

The app uses an AI technique called ‘deep learning’ to recognise the characteristics of a human face in the uploaded photo or painting, and automatically animate them.

While the app showcases the amazing possibilities of AI, some people are finding the accuracy “creepy”, showing the power of deepfake content.

While many have used it to bring much-loved old family photos back to life, others (like us) have enjoyed its other historical and artistic possibilities. Just ask this guy...

Try out your own photo animations on the MyHeritage website.