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Photos of Korean War heroes to be restored by AI technologies

Photos of Korean War heroes to be restored by AI technologies

Posted February. 14, 2023 07:48,   

Updated February. 14, 2023 07:48


Marking the 70th anniversary of the Korean Armistice Agreement, the Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs is carrying out a project to restore faded black-and-white photos of the South Korean and U.N. forces in the Korean War to high-resolution color photos using artificial intelligence (AI) technology. It aimed to commemorate the vivid images of heroes who safeguarded freedom and peace in Korea 70 years ago.

On Tuesday, the ministry will hold an agreement ceremony for the project “Immortal Heroes of the Korean War Return as Young Men” at Sungkyunkwan University’s 600th Anniversary Hall in Jongno-ju, Seoul. Minister Park Min-sik of Patriots and Veterans Affairs, Chairman Shin Min-sik of the Social Contribution Committee of the Jaseng Medical Foundation, Sungkyunkwan University President Yoo Ji-beom, surviving war heroes, and bereaved families will attend the event.

Based on the agreement, the Jaseng Medical Foundation will design and sponsor the project,. The Ministry of Patriots and Veterans Affairs will provide the black-and-white photos of the Korean War heroes under the support of surviving veterans and bereaved families.

Sungkyunkwan University will restore the monochrome pictures into color with the participation of the students in the department of software and artificial intelligence. The restoration work will be centered around the AI Face Image Restoration (GFP-GAN) and Face Restoration technologies.

In the ceremony, Air Force legend Kim Doo-man who made 100 fighter-jet sorties for the first time during the Korean War, Jin Mi-ryeong, singer and the eldest daughter of Colonel Kim Dong-seok, who made various achievements in espionage and field operations, and Benjamin Pony, the great-grandson of U.S. Marine Colonel Edward Pony, who saved 100,000 refugees during the Heungnam withdrawal operation, will attend and provide black-and-white photos for restoration. The Ministry first picked the photos of the “four heroes of the Korean War,” selected to be restored by the U.S. government: Gen. Douglas MacArthur, Gen. Matthew Ridgeway, Gen. Baek Sun-yup, and Col. Kim Dong-seok, commander of the United Nations forces.

Around 100 South Korean and U.N. veterans selected as “War Heroes of the Month” and photos of the Korean War kept by surviving veterans are also subject to restoration. The Ministry will receive the photos of the War from surviving veterans from March to April this year through the branches and offices of the Korean War Veterans Association and Veterans’ Offices nationwide and go through the restoration process from May to June.

Sang-Ho Yun ysh1005@donga.com