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This is what AI thinks the most famous historical figures would look like if they were alive today

This is what AI thinks the most famous historical figures would look like if they were alive today

From Cleopatra to Thomas Jefferson, AI has made all sorts of predictions

Have you ever wondered what some of history's best-known figures would look like if they were around today?

Maybe not, but on the off chance you have, then AI is here to help.

These days we has the ability to snap endless pictures of ourselves, but back in the day - aka, hundreds of years ago - the closest thing you could get to a selfie was a painted portrait.

As a result, the real faces of many of the historical figures we learn about in school are only kept alive by portraits. But not any more.

We asked artificial intelligence to show us what some of the most famous historical figures would look like today, and the results are, let's say 'questionable'.

From problematic to just plain funny, the results are certainly a conversation starter. Check them out below.

Thomas Jefferson

Founding Father; president; lawyer; Hamilton character - there are many things that spring to mind when you think of Jefferson, but you know what I think when I see him 'today'?

"Huh, that looks like Hugh Laurie."

This is apparently Hugh Laurie playing Thomas Jefferson.

I guess AI has decided that Jefferson would look like the House actor if he were walking around in 2023, though for some reason he's kept his majestic curly hairstyle and old-fashioned clothing. I guess he'd want to make sure he was still recognizable against Mount Rushmore.

Van Gogh

Selfies could have saved Van Gogh a lot of time.


Whether or not you believe in the son of God, I'm sure you'll be aware of the fact that he's believed to have come from the Middle East, and was not likely to have had white skin.

With that in mind, the depiction presented by AI is certainly problematic, showing Jesus with white, though tanned, skin, and brown hair that looks like it's had a few blonde highlights expertly pulled through to make it gleam.

He has a mark on his head reminiscent of the ashes placed on the heads of churchgoers on Ash Wednesday, though it's unclear why Jesus would just walk around with this mark on his head. As Jesus, he probably doesn't need much else to prove his dedication.

Who's Jesus' hairdresser?

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc is tired of your s**t.

Alexander the Great

Look at this guy. He might have been king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedon in his time, but you just know the 2023 version goes by 'Alexander the Great' in his frat house, where he sinks beer pong shots before a day of strolling around a country club.

If he didn't have his armor on, he'd probably be wearing a pastel-colored sweater and running his hand through that perfectly curled hair.

Awesome armor bro.

King Arthur

King Arthur is Alexander the Great's beer pong partner.


Cleopatra fits a running theme with the female historical figures presented by AI, all of which are absolutely stunning.

Jane Austen, Joan of Arc, Elizabeth I - they all have exquisitely manicured eyebrows and perfect pouts. While obviously everyone is beautiful in their own right, I think it's fair to say that not every single woman in history walked around looking like they'd just come out of the makeup trailer before shooting a Hollywood movie.

Still, beauty is a common trait in representations of the Egyptian queen, and the AI version of her today is no different, with cat-eye eyeliner and gold accessories showing her status as a ruler.

Cleopatra is often depicted as a beautiful queen.

Jane Austen

Jane Austen could be the model for the Mona Lisa.


One of the best classical composers of all time, and this Mozart knows it. He looks prepared to charm you with a pick-up line before having an on-hand band launch into a rendition of 'Clarinet Concerto'.

Like Thomas Jefferson, and indeed all of the reimagined historical figures, the modern version has hung on to his original hairstyle and outfit to make clear that he's all about being classic. I bet he wouldn't mind a bit of R&B though.

Having died at 35 years old this Mozart doesn't look like he's got very long left, but at least modern technology would allow him to see just how many fans he's still got today.

Mozart looks like a charmer.

At the end of the day, it's clear that AI really is just as clueless as the rest of us - if not more so - about what the historical figures really looked like, so it's probably for the best that we let them live where they belong: in the past.

Featured Image Credit: Midjourney/UNILAD

Topics: Technology, Viral, Artificial Intelligence