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Google Arts & Culture app is comparing selfies to work of art

This is how you find your doppelgänger from the past.

  • Published: January 15, 2018 2:19 PM IST
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Image: @MC_Most/Twitter


Capturing perfect selfies is an art only a few master. After Prisma, Google wants to make you feel proud of your skills by matching your self-portraits to old paintings with the use of artificial intelligence.

The Google Arts & Culture app, which is a platform where you can access images of artworks from partner museums, has been updated with a new feature that analyses your facial features and compares it to thousands of artwork to show you results which match perfectly.

It is to be noted that the app has been there since 2016 and it is only now that the experimental feature has been made available to users. It is also worth pointing that at the time of writing the feature was not available for iOS in India. As it is an experimental feature, it might be witnessing a gradual rollout to other regions.

As for the app, Google Arts & Culture is free to install from the Google Play Store or the App Store for iOS. Once you install the app, scroll down for the “Is your portrait in a museum?” game. Using the built-in camera of the app, you can capture a selfie (however imperfect or weird it is) and upload it. The app will then show you a list of artwork which your photo resembles, Inverse reports. The results also show the percentage of the match. From the list of artwork, you can then tap on your favorite painting and learn more about it.

Since its addition, those who have received the feature are sharing their results on social media with all kinds of reactions to the results. Some have been amazed finding their doppelgänger from the past, some are finding the results downright hilarious.

It is not the first time an app has attempted to gain interest through merging visual art with everyday images. Prima, a photo-editing app, shot to fame for turning images into paintings, complete with strokes of an artist’s brush. What differentiates the feature in Google Arts & Culture app from previous apps is that it sifts through its own database of images to bring our the best matching results.

Google Arts & Culture was earlier known as Google Art Project and was launched in 2011. The idea behind the initiative is to make accessing art easier for people with the use of technology. Google Street View is one of the projects under the initiative. The initiative today incorporates work from over thousands of museums from across 70 countries.

  • Published Date: January 15, 2018 2:19 PM IST