'David' by Michelangelo was one of the statues to be 'given life'.
David, sculpture by Michelangelo in Florence

Dutch artist uses AI to create realistic photographs of historical figures

Dutch artist Bas Uterwijk uses Artificial Intelligence to create life-like photo-style portraits of historical figures. Normally, historical figures are only depicted in paint and sculpture. The technology he created is called ‘Artbreeder’

Uterwijk wanted to see if he could create realistic digital renderings of key faces in history. These faces include those of Vincent Van Gogh and Napoleon. The Artbreeder is ‘deep-learning’ software. It can create life-like images from scratch or based on different portraits. The software uses data points – of common facial features and photographic qualities – to make an image.

Uterwijk considers the pictures he created as artist interpretations rather than scientific or historically accurate. He guides the software to produce more credible results. The main challenges he faced was to achieve the photo-realism while also staying true to the person’s likeness.

To see the “photographs” log on to Daily Mail.

Read more on Artificial Intelligence in heritage projects.