Lost loved ones “come back to life” with Deep Nostalgia

Mar 15, 2021, 4:09 PM
deep nostalgia screen shot...
Deep Nostalgia turns family photos into moving pictures to show how long lost loved ones might have moved. Screen Grab: Deep Nostalgia via KSL NewsRadio

SALT LAKE CITY — A new artificial intelligence tool called Deep Nostalgia promises to transform an old family photo into a sentimental longing for the past.

Is it a wonderful way to reconnect with relatives who have passed or a technological bridge too far?

Deep Nostalgia brings loved ones back to life

A coworker of Live Mic host Lee Lonsberry turned him on to Deep Nostalgia™ —  found at the genealogy platform

It allows the user to drop a still photo onto the website and — whoosh — it becomes animated. 

Lonsberry gave Deep Nostalgia a whirl by using an old photo of his smiling great-grandfather Royce Lonsberry dressed in his naval uniform of yesteryear. 

Begin animation.

“I saw him turn his head back and forth, I saw him blink his eyes, I saw his eyebrows raised up and down. That smile, shown in the still image, moved around a bit. It grinned even wider. It was a little unsettling. I was right on the edge of ‘Oh my gosh, fascinating and beautiful, and whoa, whoa, whoa — what kind of magic is this?'”


The past meets the future inside the borders of an old (World War I?) black and white snapshot.

Moving pictures

Lee credits KSL’s NewsRadio’s Nick Wyatt with bringing this new technology to his attention.

Wyatt said he really got a sense of how moving animated photos of lost loved ones can be yesterday.

“I started seeing videos on Reddit. One video showed this woman who had animated photos of her grandparents. She was showing them to her parents. They were losing their minds. I mean they, the mother starts crying, the father shows this really respectful sign of dignity and honor in it. It was very moving,” Wyatt recalled. “I saw all these experiences where people were just brought to tears by seeing their loved ones coming around again.”

Despite the possibility of feeling unease about this AI tech, Lee recommended his listeners give it a try.

” I’ll tell you what, if you have an opportunity later on tonight, when you’re together with the family, plug in a photo of a relative who has since passed away — maybe the kids have never met great-grandma. Put the image in and give this a shot. It’ll be a little unsettling, I’ll admit. But hold on, play it back and forth a few times. It’s quite a beautiful thing,” Lee said.


Marvel at MyHeritage photo animations, but don’t get in too deep


Live Mic with Lee Lonsberry can be heard weekdays from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. on KSL NewsRadio. Users can find the show on the KSL NewsRadio website and app. 

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Lost loved ones “come back to life” with Deep Nostalgia