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A Russian YouTuber Is Bringing Back High-Quality Memories From the Past Through the Use of AI.

The YouTuber Denis Shiryaev has embarked on a dreamy path: transforming old black and white videos into 4K format colored videos, thus bringing video users to visually immerse themselves in the times that were.

The first video features a great trip through the crowded streets of New York. It’d seem pretty simple if the video was shot in recent times, which actually wasn’t. This video, in fact, was filmed in 1911, when HD quality standards didn’t exist yet and color movies were still very rare.

So how did Shiryaev succeed in creating such a smooth and colorful video?

The techniques for achieving these results are multiple.
First of all, he operates an increase in the number of frames within the movie, for a total of 60 frames per second, through the use of the algorithm “DAIN”; secondly, the video was transformed into a 4k video through the algorithm “ESRGAN”.

Lastly, through the use of an additional algorithm, the YouTuber was able to create an even more immersive experience: he added colors to an originally black and white movie. The coloring of the images took place with the use of the “DeOldify” neural network, capable of automatically coloring the frames.

Denis Shiryaev / Youtube

The second video shows what would be like to chill during a quiet afternoon in Paris in late 1890. This video features all the three algorithms mentioned before.

The last video features the AI-applied version of the iconic movie L’Arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat by the Lumiere Brothers, a 50-second short film that shows a steam locomotive entering a train station, first shown to the public in January of 1896.

(Fun fact: the legend goes that the film so terrified the audience — who had never seen a moving image of a train coming straight at them — that some people screamed and ran away)

The intent, as well as the result of the project by Shiryaev, is admirable, and it once again demonstrates how technologies and the development of artificial intelligence accompany humankind in research and have the opportunity to bring the epochs closer.

Article by Giulio Vescovi

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