Updated: Oct 8, 2021
We recently discovered MyHeritage's incredible "In Color" technology that allows users - for free! - to colorize or restore black and white or faded color photos. This is how they describe the technology:
The technologies for automatically colorizing photos and for restoring the colors in faded photos were licensed exclusively by MyHeritage from DeOldify, created by deep learning experts Jason Antic and Dana Kelley.
Jason and Dana developed and enhanced the colorization model over a period of two years, and it is still being perfected constantly. They invented an original approach of colorizing black and white photos automatically using machine learning algorithms that have exceptional attention to small details — the devil is in the details and their model nails them perfectly. The model was trained using millions of real photos and has developed an understanding of our world and its colors. The results are breathtaking indeed.
Jason and Dana then developed color restoration technology that accurately restores the colors in faded color photos. This is ideal for reviving photos that were taken in color in the 1950’s through the 1990’s, printed and stored in albums, and then faded over the years. In contrast to colorization, which uses artificial intelligence to give its best guess as to the colors in the photos, this technology restores the authentic colors of the photo and sharpens the photos in the process.
What stood out to us was the impact that this seemingly minor improvement had on us, making the subjects of the photos feel familiar - like they could be our friends or neighbors living today. This is the same feeling we get when doing a deep-dive into one of our subjects' lives. We are all so much more alike than we are different, and this becomes clearer when we understand the background and upbringing of someone we love, particularly someone older. Inevitably, we feel we can relate to their experiences, making us feel closer to them through the shared connection.
Telling your story, or reading someone else's, has the power to create bridges of understanding, much like these newly colorized photos.
Here's one we made of Jesse Owens, American olympiad, at the Berlin Olympics in 1936 - as he was living through truly remarkable times. Check it out, be amazed, and imagine what it must have been like to be standing on that podium.