'Deepfake' videos bring family tree back to life

Imagine being able to make an image of Queen Victoria come to life or animating a photo of a dead relative with a few clicks on a cell phone.

Using artificial intelligence, the technology behind these 'deepfake' videos is helping people bring images of their loved ones who have passed away, back to life.

Genealogy site MyHeritage has put out a tool called 'Deep Nostalgia' to animate movements on faces in photographs.

The app uses a kind of AI technology called 'deepfake' to create hyper-realistic movements on stills.

MyHeritage Director of Public Relations & Social Media, Rafi Mendelsohn.

"The MyHeritage Deep Nostalgia tool is, I suppose, the latest iteration in that discovery process, bringing technology to the mass users to help them make that connection with their ancestors and of course with Deep Nostalgia it goes that one step further by introducing artificial intelligence technologies to animate the face and make their loved ones come to life."

More than 65 million images have been animated in the first month since the MyHeritage app was made available to users.

"What people are seeing when they upload that picture is that they see a driver. A driver is essentially a video of, it's actually a colleague of mine, who has recorded animations of him making different facial movements moving your head from side to side and smiling and blinking back at you. And it's that driver, it's that animation of a human person, that sits underneath the still image of your ancestor and allows the face to move from side to side, to smile back at you."

"The Deep Nostalgia tool is intended for our ancestors, not for living people, you also cannot apply any audio element to it and every single image, every animation, every image that we colorize or enhance or animate has a symbol in the bottom left-hand corner that shows that it has gone through a change."

While it was powerful for people who have lost their loved ones, other users have animated on famous figures in art and history and shared the clips on social media.