See Jose Rizal and other historical figures come to life with MyHeritage’s Deep Nostalgia technology

Published March 4, 2021, 7:00 AM

by John Legaspi

It may seem a little creepy, but it sure is going to be an experience

Have you ever wondered what it is like seeing our historical Filipino personalities in real life? Sure, we have photos and paintings of them to remind us of how they looked. But what do you think would it be like seeing them close their eyes, blink a little, have a little smirk, or raise their eyebrows? It may sound a little creepy, but it sure is going to be an experience.

With today’s technology, that would be possible. Genealogy company MyHeritage launches a new tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to put life-like movement to photographs, called Deep Nostalgia.

For his #DeepNostalgia entry, Filipino Facebook user Felvir Dieta Ordinario, skipped his family tree and used the photographs of Jose Rizal, Apolinario Mabini, Antonio Luna, and Emilio Aguinaldo.

Jose Rizal

“I knew that it was only a matter of time until AI and neural network tech will find its way into more applications in family history, but I’m still so astounded by this #DeepNostalgia feature on #MyHeritage launched at the recent #Rootstech conference,” he posted. “I tried it out on old family photos and the results are just amazingly surreal! It’s like we’re one step closer to bringing the dead back to life!”

“Note that these aren’t my ancestors, but I thought it would be cool to try it with famous historical figures,” he added. “Enjoy!”

Antonio Luna

His post went viral that it was even shared by the Facebook page of the Department of Tourism, Culture and Arts of Manila. Author and historian Ambeth Ocampo did the same thing and used Jose Rizal’s photo for the Deep Nostalgia app.

“There used to be artists who specialized in painting the dead during a wake as a souvenir for relatives. So it won’t be creepy, the final flourish was opening the eyes!,” Ambeth posted. “Now you can do the same online at MyHeritage for old pics, but I was scared to try it on my mother and grandmother. I tried it on our lolo Jose, grandfather of the nation. What do you think? History comes alive?”

Internet users all over the world are using the Deep Nostalgia technology, bringing motion to photographs of dead loved ones, presidents, and even esteemed music composers. Discover the technology for yourself here.

Videos are from Felvir’s Facebook account.