Artificial intelligence has restored historic cinematography from the 1890s

More than a century ago, footage of the famous Buffalo Bill William Cody talking to the Iron Tail chief of the Oglala Lakota tribe looks like it took place yesterday. This became possible because this film fragment was reconstructed using artificial intelligence.

The restored black-and-white frames no longer “sin” with the nervous twitching and accelerated motion that we usually see in silent films. The reason for the appearance of these effects is in the cinema cameras of that time, which were activated by manual rotation at a much slower speed than now.

The restoration technology was developed by digital artist Matt Lafrey. For the first time, he presented historical photos restored with her help at the exhibition "My Colorful Past" - "My colorful past." The next stage was the restoration of film fragments of the late 19th - early 20th centuries.

The project employs AI, which recreates the missing visual information between frames. Thanks to her, the movement is as smooth as in modern cinema and video.

The algorithm processed about a minute of footage with Buffalo Bill in 40 hours, creating thousands of new frames. In the finale, where footage is played back at about 60 frames per second, the people in the movie move in real time, as opposed to the fast, sharp movement in the original clip.