Family tree service MyHeritage has begun to use AI-powered synthetic media for authentic facial expression manipulation and user personal data collection. The company has launched a new feature called Deep Nostalgia. When you upload a photo of a person, the algorithm animates the face.
The drama “Black Mirror” shows how relatives and great men of the past who have passed away are revived by synthetic approximation processing and why they are trapped in such a useless digital photo frame, moving their eyes and tilting their faces.
There is a picture frame, but when it was released at a conference on family history yesterday (February 26, US time), it was naturally spread on social media.
— Dr Adam Rutherford (@AdamRutherford) February 26, 2021
Dr Adam Rutherford“Revived Rosalind Franklin”
— Nathan Dylan Goodwin (@NathanDGoodwin) February 25, 2021
Nathan Dylan Goodwin“My Great-Grandmother Louisa Rokes (1871-1942) on Deep Nostalgia in MyHeritage”
This is my great-grandmother, Kathleen. I’ve always felt so close to her even though she died when I was 2 years old. This #DeepNostalgia video brought tears to my eyes to see her move, almost like seeing her as she was posing for this photo. Remarkable! #RootsTechConnect pic.twitter.com/ZRc41JOo3e
— Mike Quackenbush (@mikequack) February 26, 2021
Mike Quackenbush“Great-grandmother Catherine. I died when I was two years old, but I’ve always felt close to it. I cried when I saw my grandmother move in Deep Nostalgia. I posed for this photo shoot. It looks like it’s doing it. It’s amazing! “
This deepfake MyHeritage virtual marketing scenario is not difficult. The idea is to touch people’s chords, acquire personal information, and connect it to contracts for paid services (the company’s main business is selling DNA tests).
For example, last year, the Norwegian Consumer Commission legally reviewed MyHeritage’s terms of service with the National Consumer Protection Agency and data regulators, and found that the company was asking consumers to sign. It is reported that it was judged to be “impossible”.
Also in 2018, MyHeritage caused a large amount of data breaches. It was later discovered that the leaked data was bought and sold on the dark web, along with a large amount of cash information extracted by hacking accounts.
Encouraging people to lure the deceased deceased into an eerie valley, and tying it up for DNA testing (although leaving this kind of personal information to the storage of a private company poses a major privacy issue. ) Aside from the ethical issue of using it, the company’s face animation technology is remarkable.
I can’t help but imagine what I think of this when I see my great-grandmother’s curious look.
The face animation feature uses the technology of an Israeli company called D-ID, which also participated in TechCrunch Disrupt’s battlefield.
In the first place, the company started with the development of digital anonymization technology for faces, keeping in mind the protective images that prevent individuals from being identified by facial recognition algorithms.
Last year, they released a demo video of a new technology for animating photos. The technology uses “driver video” to move photos. By mapping the facial features of a photo to a “driver,” or video of a modeled face, an image that D-ID calls Live Portraite is created.
“The Live Portrait solution brings still images to life. Photos are animated by mapping them to driver videos, and the head movements and facial expressions of the target image move along with the movement of the driver video,” D- The ID is explained in the press release.
“This technology can be used to animate prominent figures in history education institutions, museums, educational programs, etc.”
The company offers Live Portrait on a versatile AI Face platform. It is accessible to third parties and has access to technologies such as deep learning, computer vision, and image processing. D-ID calls this platform a “one-stop shop” for synthetic video production.
In addition, there is also a “face anonymization function” (which can be used to hide the identity of a whistleblower in documentary production) and a “talking heads” function that replace the face of a person in the video with the face of another person.
This is for lip-syncing, but it is also possible to borrow a video of an actor who has a guarantee and make him complain by matching his mouth movements.
It is inevitable that synthetic media will lead to strange times.
Rachel Maga is a technology journalist currently working at Globe Live Media agency. She has been in the Technology Journalism field for over 5 years now. Her life’s biggest milestone is the inside tour of Tesla Industries, which was gifted to her by the legend Elon Musk himself.