TikTok Users Are Obsessing Over an Eerily Realistic AI Time Machine Feature

Bianca Piazza - Author

Dec. 6 2022, Published 5:42 p.m. ET

Though we all wish to pretend we're not self-absorbed in the slightest, we're living in the era of the selfie. The truth of the matter is that we're all obsessed with our own fleshy faces, and we'd jump at any opportunity to show them off on the internet. It's practically a shared kink.

On that note, we're here to discuss the newest craze in universal TikTok narcissism: an artificial intelligence "time machine," so to speak.

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Whether it be from Lensa AI or MyHeritage, AI art (as controversial as it may be) is taking over social media, and the latter app has an AI Time Machine feature that lets users "transform [themselves] into historical figures." Put it this way, Timothée Chalamet (Bones and All) can see his face embedded in a Viking portrait if he so wishes. Something about Timmy's face doesn't belong in an era prior to the 1900s, but that's besides the point.

Let's discuss the AI Time Machine trend on TikTok.

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What is the MyHeritage app all about?

According to its official Twitter account, MyHeritage "is the leading global discovery platform for exploring family history, uncovering ethnic origins, and finding new relatives."

While MyHeritage can be used to track down your Great Uncle Billy, the company recently dipped its toes into the artificial intelligence sphere with its AI time-travel feature.

With AI theme offerings including "Sultan, World Explorer, Middle Ages Astronomer, Portrait by Van Gogh, 1930s Scientist, and 1940s Painter," MyHeritage's newest feature is wowing folks around the globe.

"As of last night, 4.6 million themes with 44 million output images were generated, and 3 million images have been downloaded for sharing," MyHeritage wrote on its official blog on Nov. 29, 2022. The numbers have only grown since then, as #AITimeMachine has exploded on TikTok.

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The hashtag boasts 37.8 million views as of this writing.

Source: TikTok/@hellotefi
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One particular woman unknowingly used AI Time Machine to connect with her deceased grandmother. After plugging photos of herself into the MyHeritage feature, TikTok user @hellotefi was stunned by the 1930s Woman theme, as the produced image reminded her of her grandmother, Libia Vanegas. Featuring loosely-waved hair and a pink brimmed hat, the AI art even brought her to tears.

TikTok user Mary Margaret also utilized the buzzed-about feature to find out what she would've looked like during different historical eras, and she, too, was left feeling emotional. "I've never felt so beautiful," she wrote.

Mary Margaret saw herself as a Viking, a French Aristocrat, a 1930s Movie Star, and a 1970s Hippie, to name a few themes.

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Source: TikTok/@marymargaret14

Though many don't approve of the new wave of AI art-sharing, as it is said to promote a quick, cheap alternative to supporting portraitists and other, often "starving," artists, MyHeritage's AI Time Machine feature has undeniably stirred up some almost-harmless fun.

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