MyHeritage releases feature to automatically colorize black-and-white photos

MyHeritage In Color
MyHeritage In Color

Family history site MyHeritage released MyHeritage In Color, a feature that automatically colorizes black-and-white photos. Photos are colorized using sophisticated deep learning technology that is currently exclusive to MyHeritage, the company says. MyHeritage In Color is a freemium feature on MyHeritage, where several photos may be colorized for free, after which continued use of this feature requires a subscription.

Colorization is available in MyHeritage’s online photo albums as well as in the free MyHeritage mobile app for iOS and Android. Colorized photos can easily be shared with family and friends on Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, and other social media.

MyHeritage In Color technology was licensed by MyHeritage from DeOldify, created by software engineers Jason Antic and Dana Kelley. The technology is based on Self-Attention Generative Adversarial Networks (SAGAN), introduced in May 2018, the company said. An early version of the DeOldify technology was contributed by Antic to the public domain in November 2018. Antic and Kelley updated it in May 2019. Since then, Antic and Kelley have continued to improve and fine-tune the technology commercially. Their latest version produces colorized photos of unprecedented quality and is currently available only on MyHeritage.

“The photos colorized by MyHeritage In Color are breathtaking. Joining our easy-to-use family tree tools, billions of historical records, and automatic matching technologies, this amazing new feature helps fulfill our mission of bringing the past back to life,” said Gilad Japhet, Founder and CEO of MyHeritage.

“After dedicating the past few years to developing photo colorization technology and obsessively pursuing its perfection, we’re excited to see DeOldify integrated into MyHeritage’s family history platform, so that people can reveal new insights from their historical family photos,” said Antic. “We identify with MyHeritage’s vision of helping everyone understand their family story, and our technology will give people a deeper connection with those that came before them. We are genuinely very excited about partnering with a company that has such an admirable mission and are happy that they will help us enhance the technology even further in the coming years.”