July 28, 2022

Restore Old Photos with AI

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I’ve written before about how to restore old photos, and there are more tools coming out all the time. This new AI-powered tool is from a company called Baseten, and the results range from average to amazing to amazingly creepy.

How to Restore Old Photos in 10 Seconds

Four Steps:

  1. Go to this site
  2. Upload the photo
  3. Click Restore Photo
  4. Get the photo.

See it for yourself

Samples: Average to Amazing to Amazingly Creepy

The AI analyses the content of the photo and tries to recreate fuzzy or bad pixels with what should be there. Here are some samples with varying degrees of quality.

NOTE! If you’re looking at this page on mobile, the images won’t do the slide-to-compare coolness. The effect looks better on a computer.

Average

The tool did an ok job with this picture of a mother and fawn I took from too far away in my backyard yesterday. You can see it kind of smoothed things out and made the image less pixelated.

This is Mom and my sister with me in Nashville long before we ever thought of moving here. The AI didn’t do much with enhancing our features, but it did clear up the fuzziness and majorly improved the resolution.

Amazing

My grandfather and I played Pong together on Christmas morning, and it’s one of my most cherished memories (and the beginning of the nerdiness). I thought the AI did a great job of cleaning out all the graininess and restoring my grandfather’s face so well that I felt a pang of his loss. (I felt a pang while playing Pong? Ha!). It’s worth noting that the ashtray on the ottoman came in crystal clear.

Although the tool had a tough time with my puffy shirt (don’t we ALL have a tough time with that puffy shirt???), I have to say that my skin was never this clear when I was in middle school.

Amazingly Creepy

Since the AI is trying to restore what it can’t really see, it can really miss the mark. Like REALLY. This first picture is from one of my birthday parties, and it made my eyes pretty creepy. But scroll down to the next example for the stuff of nightmares.

Here’s what it did with a very fuzzy picture from one of my high school dances (none of us had a date, of course). Totally creepy.


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