Artist Bas Uterwijk combines photography, AI technology and digital design to bring history’s most enigmatic characters to life. (Bas Uterwijk)
A visual designer has used artificial intelligence to create stunning, lifelike photographs of what history’s most recognised figures and monuments may have looked like.
Amsterdam-based artist Bas Uterwijk has brought monuments such as the Statue of Liberty and Michaelangelo’s David to life, alongside historical figures such as Queen Elizabeth I, Billy the Kid and even Jesus Christ.
The artist uses “deep learning programme” Artbreeder, which forms multi-layered composite images by pinpointing common facial features from paintings and statues.
Uterwijk, who has worked on computer games and visual graphics for the world’s biggest companies, then “fills in the blanks” of features such as hairstyles, clothes and eye colour.
Bas Uterwjik uses AI programming to find an average of a subject’s head to create a lifelike version, such as his portrait of Queen Elizabeth I. (Bas Uterwijk)View photosBas Uterwijk’s first project was based on a grainy picture (L) of American outlaw Billy the Kid. (Bas Uterwijk)
Uterwijk explained to Yahoo News UK: “I started with Billy The Kid and when I was looking for characters, based on the only original picture available – a scratched, old photograph.
“I added adjustments after, it was almost like filling in the blanks – so it is not all just graphics but some artistry involved too.
“With Queen Elizabeth, there were many paintings of her. So I uploaded 10 different images and then created what I think is a realistic image of how her head would have looked based on an average.“
One of the last self-portraits of Dutch painter Rembrandt (L), which led to Bas Uterwijk’s photo-realistic version. (Bas Uterwijk)View photosOne of the world’s most depicted figures, Jesus Christ (L) and Uterwijk’s interpretation of what he would have looked like. (Bas Uterwijk)
The creations can take a range of time to create and complete, depending on historic documentation and resources available – ranging from a couple of days or months, to a full year’s work.
“Van Gogh is one of my favourites as it was hard work, it took me around a year to create,” he continued.
“It’s one of the best ways we have to revive someone, especially with Van Gogh, when we don’t exactly know how they actually looked at the time.
The Statue of Liberty (L) and Uterwijk’s interpretation of what Lady Liberty would have looked like if she was a real person. (Bas Uterwijk)View photosVincent van Gogh’s “Self-Portrait” from 1889 (L), and an AI re-creation by the artist. (Bas Uterwijk)
Jonathan Haidt visited Penn State for a lecture on work from his latest book,
“The Coddling of the American Mind:
How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas are Setting Up a Generation for Failure.”
Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at New York University’s Stern School of Business.
Listen to the McCourtney Institute for Democracy’s podcast interview with Jonathan on the moral foundations of politics and democracy: https://www.democracyworkspodcast.com… Thank you Penn State’s World in Conversation for recording and producing the lecture
“Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed— / Let it be that great strong land of love / Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme / That any man be crushed by one above.” — Langston Hughes This Fourth of July offers an invitation to ask a question that’s just below the surface of the reckonings Americans are facing lately: Is America possible? The late civil rights leader Vincent Harding — whose conversation we’re revisiting this week — first came across the question in the title of a book. “I was struck by the playful seriousness of the inquiry, the invitation to imagine and explore the shape and meaning of a ‘possible’ America, an America still coming into existence,” he reflected in a 2007 essay. Even those unfamiliar with Harding might know his words. He was a leader in the Black freedom struggle and drafted Martin Luther King’s famous Riverside Church speech opposing the Vietnam War. He was also an incredibly generous mentor who spent his later years creating wells of wisdom for younger generations to draw on in their organizing and movement work. His educational initiative, Veterans of Hope, collects interviews with civil rights elders and is led today by his daughter and niece. If you’re looking for space to reflect this Fourth of July, I offer up some of the powerful questions Harding raises in his essay as a guide: “What is the America that we dream, that we hope for, that we vow to help bring into being?” “To whom do we think America belongs, and who has the essential responsibility for its future? Are we prepared to abandon the cynically-safe responses to these questions, responses like, ‘It belongs to the people with the most money, the best lawyers, and the greatest access to the levers of political power’?” “What shall [our students] do with the idea of an America in process, an America that is not a finished, sharp-edged block of white granite but is instead a malleable, multicolored gift of clay; still seeking, taking, giving shape, purpose, and direction?” I appreciate the way these questions allow us to revisit and broaden the boundaries of our imagination for the future. “Indeed, it is precisely in a period of great spiritual and societal hunger like our own that we most need to open minds, hearts, and memories to those times when women and men actually dreamed of new possibilities for our nation, for our world, and for their own lives,” Harding writes. “It is now that we may be able to convey the stunning idea that dreams, imagination, vision, and hope are actually powerful mechanisms in the creation of new realities — especially when the dreams go beyond speeches and songs to become embodied; to take on flesh, in real, hard places.” Though Harding, who died in 2014, wrote these words more than a decade ago, time has only revealed their truth. Perhaps to hope in America today is to believe, as Rainer Maria Rilke once advised, that if we begin today to live these questions, we will be able to gradually “live [our] way into the answer.” Yours, Kristin Lin Editor, The On Being Project
Douglas Rushkoff (Team Human) and Jamie Wheal (Stealing Fire) are two of the foremost modern historians of cutting edge transformational culture, but until now have never been in dialogue with each other.
For this one off event they discuss the potential future of humans and technology.
Faced with broken economics, powerful tech platforms and information warfare, how do we stay authentically human and work together sustainably?