The machine learning community has responded to a paper published this week that introduced a method of colorizing black-and-white photos using artificial intelligence. One redditor, mar_cnu, used this new automated colorization technique on a trailer for 1964 French film La 317 ème Section (The 317th Platoon), a black-and-white movie about a French platoon stuck behind enemy lines at the end of the Indochina War.
The results are pretty cool, although the colorization isn't great. There are some shots, especially those that should have a lot of blue and green in them (like scenes in jungles or rivers), that look convincing — at least as Technicolor film. But mostly, the method struggles to adjust itself, especially when focusing on close-ups of people, turning entire scenes green, brown, and sepia. It should be noted that the new method was developed for still photographs, not video. In the comment string, one redditor suggested that researchers could focus on smooth transitions between frames as a next step for the method.