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This creepy AI tool lets you animate your ancestors

deepfake nostalgia
(Image credit: My Heritage)

There's good news if you've wondered what your great-great-grandmother looked like when pulling a frown, or how much cheerier Victorian-era photos would look if their subjects actually cracked a smile. A new deepfake tool from ancestry site MyHeritage, aptly called Deep Nostalgia, is here to satisfy your creepy needs.

The tool, which you can play about with on the brand's website, adds moving expressions to photos from a template of pre-recorded facial movements, finding the best one for the photo uploaded. That the service is absolutely free provides great marketing for My Heritage, although for any photographic creatives out there you'd probably be better off with our guide to the best photo-editing software.

Deep Nostalgia isn't just for family photos either (try it here) (opens in new tab). Users have created GIF-like work encompassing legends of history, famous artworks, and absurdly creepy faces from the meme-o-sphere. 

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If you're more creeped out by privacy issues, then rest assured that MyHeritage will automatically delete any photos you upload. The maximum you can upload with the Deep Nostalgia tool is five, and note that it only works with faces, meaning you won't be able to make Bernie Sanders do the Floss or whatever. 

Regardless, that should be more than enough if you're looking to edit photos of you and your current partner where one of you looks happier than the other, or if you want to rustle up a few scary deepfakes like these terrifying Tom Cruise TikToks.

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Giacomo is a writer and talking head who has covered creativity and creative tools for Wallpaper*, Digital Arts, Creative Boom, VICE, Little White Lies, the BBC and more. Giacomo has also hosted for Adobe and D&AD, and judged the annual New Blood Awards. He was deputy editor of Creative Bloq for a short time in 2021.

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VFX
3D
VFX