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AI imagines how historical figures such as Napoleon would look if they’d taken smartphone portraits

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The last supper selfie: AI imagines how historical figures such as Jesus, Cleopatra and Napoleon would look if they’d taken smartphone portraits

  • Duncan Thomsen believes he’s the first person to use AI for this purpose – and said the results are ‘hilarious’
  • He uses the software Midjourney, through the application Discord, to make the historical selfies 

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A man has used AI to imagine what famous historical figures would like if they had taken smartphone portraits.

Duncan Thomsen, 53, has recreated pictures from the Battle of Waterloo, the court of Cleopatra – and the Last Supper.

He has also made snaps ‘taken’ by Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I and soldiers at Agincourt.

Duncan, a freelance film editor from Brighton, believes he’s the first person to use AI for this purpose – and said the results are ‘hilarious’.

He said: ‘AI is cutting edge technology. I spent a month working out a formula of prompts, language and photographic elements to give photos this “selfie” effect.’

He added: ‘The results are hilarious, and everyone I’ve shared my work with can’t believe how real the pictures really look.

‘I’ve done Cleopatra, Queen Elizabeth I, Henry VIII, Jesus and many more.’

Duncan uses the software Midjourney, through the application Discord, to make his own photographic historical selfies.

Pictured. The Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples

Pictured. The Last Supper with Jesus and his disciples

In addition to Last Supper, Duncan Thomsen has also made snaps 'taken' by Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I and soldiers at Agincourt

In addition to Last Supper, Duncan Thomsen has also made snaps ‘taken’ by Henry VIII, Queen Elizabeth I and soldiers at Agincourt

Pictured: The Battle of Waterloo. Duncan said of the technology used for the images: 'AI is cutting edge technology. I spent a month working out a formula of prompts, language and photographic elements to give photos this "selfie" effect'

Pictured: The Battle of Waterloo. Duncan said of the technology used for the images: ‘AI is cutting edge technology. I spent a month working out a formula of prompts, language and photographic elements to give photos this “selfie” effect’

Pictured: Napoleon and his troops at the Battle of Waterloo, 1815

Pictured: Napoleon and his troops at the Battle of Waterloo, 1815

Pictured: Cleopatra, who is said to have been one of the most beautiful women to have ever walked the planet

Pictured: Cleopatra, who is said to have been one of the most beautiful women to have ever walked the planet 

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth I

Pictured: Queen Elizabeth I

Pictured:  Duncan has created an image of soldiers smiling for a camera at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415

Pictured:  Duncan has created an image of soldiers smiling for a camera at the Battle of Agincourt in 1415

Pictured: Neanderthals in a cave. Duncan said: 'Creating the images can involve a lengthy programming process because AI requires users to tell it exactly what it needs to do and requires 'absolute description'

Pictured: Neanderthals in a cave. Duncan said: ‘Creating the images can involve a lengthy programming process because AI requires users to tell it exactly what it needs to do and requires ‘absolute description’ 

Pictured: Cave dweller during the Stone Age. Duncan said: 'This technology could be used in schools as a new way of teaching and engaging kids with world history - it's like time travelling without a time machine. You can ask AI to be historically accurate and then it can reference anything, anywhere, everywhere - that's the beauty of it'

Pictured: Cave dweller during the Stone Age. Duncan said: ‘This technology could be used in schools as a new way of teaching and engaging kids with world history – it’s like time travelling without a time machine. You can ask AI to be historically accurate and then it can reference anything, anywhere, everywhere – that’s the beauty of it’

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