Listen: Tech expert Geoff Quattromani explains 'deepfake technology' and what we need to be cautious as it becomes more widely used
Deepfake technology is bringing old photos to life – and it’s just a little creepy.
Ancestry site MyHeritage has added a new feature that allows users to colourise and modernise old photos using something called deepfake technology.
Geoff Quattromani from the Technology Uncorked podcast joined Sam on Hope Breakfast and explained his own experience of using this technology to bring old photos to life.
The technology allows users to colourise photos, which means that old black-and-white photos will reveal the colour of clothing and skin tone.
Geoff, who tested this technology out with a photo of his grandfather, said the photos really comes to life when you add motion.
“When you see a person who is no long with us moving, blinking, smiling – it can really make you uncomfortable,” Geoff said.
“You almost have to be quite prepared for that. You can have some subtle movements, where you can see that they’re waiting for the photo to be taken, and you can imagine what they’re doing as they’re waiting for the person to click that photo button.
“They’re looking around and it almost makes you feel like you were there as the photo was captured.”
Geoff believes this technology, while slightly creepy, is likely to change the way we study history. However, it does increase the possibility of fake videos surfacing across the internet.
“There’s a video going around TikTok where somebody has pulled off a deepfake of Tom Cruise,” Geoff said.
“Celebrities have so much content out there, we can easily pull a 3D model of a celebrity. So this could happen with presidents and global leaders where they are completely mimicked and perceived to be real.
“We need to find a way of proving whether something is real or not, because as this technology evolves, you’ll have to second guess everything you see online.”
Listen to the full conversation on deepfake technology in the player above.