Mona Lisa brought to life as eerie hologram thanks to groundbreaking AI

The world's most famous painting has come alive . . . sort of.

The Mona Lisa, painted by Leonardo da Vinci in the 16th century, is housed in the Louvre Gallery in Paris, France.

Despite its shockingly small size, it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city.

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And now, thanks to artificial intelligence, it has been brought to life as a hologram with the hope that it could be used to boost medical treatments.

Dr Yue-Sheng Wang, of Tianjin University, China, said: “We chose to recreate the Mona Lisa as a proof of concept – it is so famous almost everyone knows about it.

“It is filled with countless delicate and subtle transitions of layers, which enhances the softness, haziness, and mystery of the painting.

“So it is a great way to demonstrate the effectiveness of our method.”

The technique described in Applied Physics Reviews is based on advanced machine learning.

Holograms are created by recording and reconstructing the interference pattern of light or sound waves.

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They provide realistic and immersive visual or auditory experiences and can be applied in entertainment, medical imaging, and communication, among other fields.

Metasurfaces, or two-dimensional materials made of an array of tiny components, can help a lot with the process.

Dr Wang's team successfully reconstructed the Mona Lisa, and, in even more detail, her left eye.

The technique can be extended to create three-dimensional images as well.

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Dr Wang said: “The precise control of sound waves offered by our holography method is crucial for advancing non-invasive medical therapies, effective noise control, and optimising acoustic environments like concert halls.

“These improvements have the potential to enhance quality of life and various technological applications.”

The researchers hope the technique will revolutionise holography, and they plan to explore ways to generalise it, make it compatible with 3D printing, and reduce training time.

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