Wednesday, March 03, 2021

History of um, invented video

Students tell you you need to provide more film in your history classes? Allan Levine has posted an oddity:  a video of Prime Minister Mackenzie King from 1943.

Except it's actually a still photograph. A new version of deepfake technology turns it into a sort of animation: subjects turns their heads, give a sort of smile, repeat. It comes from the "Deep Nostalgia" project of a DNA genealogy company called My Heritage.  People who have been dead for decades or centuries -- your relatives or celebrities, anyone you have a still photo of -- can now be turned into little home-movie GIFs  

I find most of the examples I have seen, King included, deeply creepy in that "uncanny valley" sort of way, but there seems to be a fair amount of enthusiasm for the technique. Whadda you think?  

I'm having some trouble posting the King "video" here. You can see examples from MyHeritage here. And even Allan's King video post on Twitter seems to be resist being copied here, but try the link and decide if you love or hate it. 

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