Many loved celebrities died before the world was ready to give them up. Their names have gone down in history, but we never got to see how they look as they aged. One artist decided he wanted to “resurrect” various singers, actors, and public figures using an A.I. He was able to predict what they would look like if they were still alive today.
An A.I’s realistic portrayal
In the latest viral news, various celebrities who passed away before they reached old age have been circulating through our news feeds once again. This time, however, their images show how they would look if they had not died. The artist who created these images is known as Alper Yesiltas. Native to Turkey, Yesiltas has made use of A.I. to create the most realistic predictions of the late celebrities.
Yesiltas called the album, As If Nothing Happened. He chose to re-imagine the celebrities that he “missed the most”. Among the many images, are pictures of elderly Freddie Mercury, Princess Dianna, and the king of pop music, Michael Jackson. By profession, Yesiltas is an IT lawyer. But, he was always drawn toward the more creative side of the digital world.
In an interview with The National, Yesiltas said: “With the development of AI technology, anything imaginable can be shown in reality. So when I started tinkering with technology, I thought about what would make me the happiest. I wanted to see some of the people I missed again in front of me and that’s how As If Nothing Happened emerged.”
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His creative process
Many people wondered where he got the idea for such a project. Yesiltas explained: “When I started tinkering with technology, I saw what I could do. and thought about what would make me the happiest. I wanted to see some of the people I missed again in front of me and that’s how this project emerged. The hardest part of the creative process for me is making the image feel ‘real’ to me. The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks very realistic as if it was taken by a photographer.“
Yesiltas makes use of various different software programs. One he uses specifically for creating light effects, others for textures. Each one adds to the most realistic portrayal, which is his goal. “The most important part is making the image I’m processing feel realistic to me. Intentionally or unintentionally, I know a lot about the person I’m working with. Naturally, the moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me feels ‘real“. He added, “The moment I like the most is when I think the image in front of me looks very realistic. As if it was taken by a photographer.”
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As If Nothing Happened
Each one of the celebrities showcased in Yesiltas’ album, As If Nothing Happened, not only died young, but their death was tragic. Let’s take a look through some of the re-imaginings of some of the celebrities. The first one that stood out, was an image of Michael Jackson. Yesiltas chose an image before his great transformation in appearances.
Next, we have Princess Diana. She looks even more regal than she did in her youth, and that is saying something. Princess Diana died in a fatal car crash at the age of 34. She would be 61 years old today. One can only wonder what the world would be like, if she were still with us.
Heath Ledger’s charm stole the hearts of many people around the world, while his acting skills landed him in some high-ranking films. He died from an accidental overdose after the stress of his role as the Joker in The Dark Knight.
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The next portrayal is an interesting take on a pop star who is still with us. Yesiltas chose to create a reimagining of Madonna. However, his prediction is what she would look like without all the make-up and youth-maintaining injections and surgeries.
Last but not least, the famous John Lennon, from the Beatles. The musician was shot four times in the chest in 1980. He was 40 years old at the time and would be 82 years old today. How would the world be different if Lennon survived that day?
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- “Artist uses AI to imagine how the dead would look now, including Princess Diana and Tupac.” The National News. David Tusking. September 27, 2022.
- “AI ‘resurrects’ dead stars: Eerie portraits show what Diana, Kurt Cobain, John Lennon, Janis Joplin and Freddie Mercury would look like if they were alive today.” Daily Mail. Christopher Carbone. September 21, 2022.