What would you look like as a 15th-century subject of a portrait? Well, now you can find out. A viral website from MIT’s IBM Watson AI Lab called AI Portraits will take your portraits and convert them into artistic images based on famous artists’ work. Based on the image you upload, it will select the style (you don’t get to choose, at least not yet). How good is it? Scroll to the bottom of this post to see if you can recognize the celebrities.

How AI Portraits works

The developers behind AI Portraits Ars focused on 15th-century European artists because it was around this time that individualism became a societal trend. The practice of painting portraits of individuals became a trend. They used 45,000 portraits to create their artificial intelligence technology. They encourage you to try several different expressions — smiling, frowning, laughing, looking surprised — to see how the AI renders the image 15th-century style. You’ll note a significant lack of happiness in the portraits — why aren’t smiles recreated? That’s because smiles and laughter at that time were associated with foolishness. When the website works, it’s a great time waster/distraction. But, it has been so popular, the internet broke it.

Is AI Portraits Ars safe?

We give AIPortraits a thumbs up for safety and privacy. It doesn’t require you to furnish any personal information, and you don’t need to set up an account in order to see your results. A disclaimer on ARPortraits’ website says it sends your photos to their servers to generate the portraits and then they immediately delete them. They don’t use data from the photos for any other purpose. Tap or click here to check the site out and have some fun.

Quiz: Can you figure out who these celebrities are?

Ok, now for some fun. See if you can figure out who these famous faces belong to (scroll down for the answers). A.  B.  C.  D.  E.  F.  G.  H.  I.  J. 


A. Jack Nicholson

B. Audrey Hepburn

C: Robin Williams

D: Roy Scheider (bet you thought it was Sylvester Stallone, huh?), from the original “Jaws”

E: Janet Leigh (“Psycho”)

F: Joaquin Phoenix

G: Mark Hamill, as he was in the original “Star Wars”

H: Miles Teller (whose 15th-century version looks so much like Jonah Hill!)

I. A very young John Travolta as he was in “Grease”

J. This is a tough one! It’s Suraj Sharma from “Life of Pi”