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A New AI Tool Captures Your Image in the Past Hundreds Of Years

It’s fun to imagine what Henry VIII or Tutankhamun would look like today if you could drag them into the present, but what about the reverse? What would it appear like if you traveled back in time and confronted them there?

In partnership with AI image generation experts Astria, online genealogy platform MyHeritage has developed a new AI tool that promises to accomplish this. You can at least see what you might have looked like a few hundred years ago, if not the actual time machine part, which would be much bigger news.

What is the name of this new feature? It is, appropriately, the AI Time Machine.

Gilad Japhet, founder and CEO of MyHeritage, said in a statement, “Over the past three years we released many successful features that use the power of AI to bring historical photos to life. The AI Time MachineTM is a fresh take on this theme that invites you to go back in time and imagine how you might have appeared to your ancestors.

This is made possible by a type of deep-learning neural network called stable diffusion, which was just recently released. Similar to well-known AI image tools like DALL-E or Midjourney, Stable Diffusion can create images from text input or alter already-existing images.

MyHeritage is utilizing this second capability for their AI Time Machine. The Time Machine will be able to recast users as characters from pretty much any era of history after they upload 10 to 25 photos of themselves in various settings and poses.

How excellent are the outcomes then? Fortunately for us, MyHeritage had a test group eager to use the new feature before it appeared on the figurative shelves.

“The recurring question among our team was when it would be released so we could finally share our own mind-blowing images!” Japhet said.

Even though those tools haven’t always been as widely adored as the company had hoped, MyHeritage has made headlines before with its cutting-edge AI tools. For instance, Deep Nostalgia was pretty impressive when it first began making our long-dead ancestors move around and chat last year, but you have to admit, it was also a little unsettling.

The AI Time Machine seems, well, rather entertaining in comparison. And even better: it’s free to use for up to 400 photographs per user for a short time during the introduction.


Alon Burg, co-founder and CEO of Astria, said, “We are excited to work with MyHeritage to apply our technology to the field of family history. We’re thrilled that this integration will give millions of people around the world enjoyable and meaningful experiences because “generative AI is an exciting new frontier.”


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