I mean, I already won… albeit by my own arbitrary rules, but still… I think maybe I just need to cement my victory. After all, there was one little thing that I couldn’t fit into the last post, so consider this a followup.

MyHeritage has three photo-enhancing algorithm tools. Last post, I looked at MyHeritage’s colourizing tool and image animating tool. The third algorithm is a photo enhancement tool used to sharpen faces in old photos, and is something I have actually used quite a bit. I’ve got a lot of ancestors who owned cameras, but a lot less of them who could use cameras well, and anything that can reduce the blurring in old photos is great. This tool can sharpen and enhance faces, and can be stacked with the other tools to add colour or animation.

It can turn this:

Photo c. 1860

Into this.

I’ve already show that there could be issues with the other two photo-enhancing algorithm; could there be with this one too? Again, a good photo will probably get good results, but will they be accurate results? For genealogy, accurate information matters. As I mentioned last time, I could see people assuming that an altered colourized image is accurate, even though the eye, hair, and skin colours are all wrong. In the case of this specific tool, do the restored faces match the way the original person looked? Will the algorithm win one out of three duels, or can I make this a perfect victory, winning an exceptional three out of three in the war of human vs machine? I really need to win this, because not only is humanity is counting on me, but because I’m so, so bored right now.

I’ll start with another control test. Lets look at that photo of my sister again:

I deliberately blurred her face for the previous post, but how well did I do? Can the algorithm restore it? If I get successfully sued by my sister for invasion of privacy, I’ll consider the computer’s attempt a success.

…And am I going to wreck family dinners for the foreseeable future?


I can’t really call this a win for me, because that’s exactly what I wanted from the MyHeritage tools. If there isn’t enough information in the photos, I want it to leave the image as is, not try to fix it anyways. At least, if it isn’t certain, I’d like a warning that the results might not be accurate, maybe on a border around the photo(in fact, it should even do that with photos it can fix). As it did what I was kind of hoping it would, the computer might have a very slight win here, but its close enough that I’ll call it a draw and not ask why it decided that the dog’s eye, and only her eye, had to be sharpened.

But modern cameras are good. Most of the photos I need enhanced are older, and in black and white.

I already desaturated this photo last time; lets try running that version through the enhancer too.

The black and white version of the photo:

Now, run through the enhancement and colourizing algorithms, the photo looks like…

Everything is fine. First, close this tab, shut down your computer, and move at least 100 metres away from it. Then please find a populous and well-lit area, and wait for the all-clear. It is all fine. Goodbye, and I’m very sorry.