Genealogy website MyHeritage has launched a brand new fun AI tool AI Time Machine which lets you try out looks from different historical eras. It’s as easy as uploading a variety of photographs, and the AI does the rest.
The feature is based on the image generator model Stable Diffusion and licensed by AI image generation company Astria. It’s not the first of its kind, but it’s simple and quick to try, and the results are both amusing and slightly uncanny in their execution. If you’ve ever wondered what you’d look like in the Viking era, then this app is perfect!
The app is available on both desktop and mobile and is incredibly simple to use. You upload between 10 and 20 existing portraits of yourself, including a mix of full body, profile view, and headshot, and the AI does the rest of the work.
However, despite the Call To Action to try it out, it isn’t necessarily free. If it says “try it for free” then you get 5 themes or 40 images. To generate 20 themes or around 160 images it costs around $12. It takes around 30 minutes to generate the full mix of images. The images are all downloadable and sharable, but do come with a watermark to make sure everyone knows they aren’t real and that you haven’t actually turned into a Greek goddess overnight.
The eras generated range from Ancient Greek, to Egyptian, to Mayan and Aztec, to Victorian, 1970s, 1940s, flapper…the list goes on. Frankly, I couldn’t resist having a quick go.
The results were, as you can see somewhere between a stylized drawing and a photograph. Many of them didn’t really look at all like me, and there were still a few AI-generated oddities such as slightly odd-looking eyes in places. Alarmingly I look uncannily like my grandmother in the 1950s images. Cowgirl may just be my favorite, I feel a strong calling to relocate to the American Wild West.
In some images I definitely appear younger and fresher to match the style. The Viking and Roman looks definitely have a more grizzled appearance. It must have been a hard life I imagine. However, I am slightly taken with how good my hair looks as a pirate. Would it be weird to take along an AI-generated image to my next haircut, I wonder?
All in all, it’s a fun little diversion, and it plays along well with MyHeritage’s main genealogy purpose. If nothing else, it will be useful in determining what you should wear to the next costume party you get invited to!