Google Uses AI to Find Your Fine-Art Doppelgänger

Cesar Mills
January 17, 2018

To note: While people in other countries can download the Google Arts & Culture app, this feature is exclusive to the United States for now. Some are accurate while others aren't so much. I use it myself, and find it a refreshing change of pace from the grid that shows pages you've previously opened.

The phenomenon, which will probably dissolve as quickly as it appeared, climbed the ranks and was listed as the top trending app in Apple's App Store Monday morning.

When Google updated their Arts & Culture app in December, they added a feature that takes users' selfies and match them to the portraits in their database of artwork.

The No. 1 free app in the country gives you both the chance to appreciate some fine art and have a laugh while you're doing it.

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A new feature in the Google Arts & Culture app reveals how your selfie may resemble a historical painting. However, do not open the app immediately after downloading.

The Arts and Culture app was originally created to promote pieces of art and culture in the course of virtual tours round the world's most famed fine art museums, the Guggenheim Museum in Spain's Bilbao and the Dutch Rijksmuseum just to name a few. Once it's installed, fire it up and scroll down until you see "Is your portrait in a museum?" You will need to rely on VPN to access the "selfie matching" feature. Tap on Get Started and follow the instructions.

It is not beyond making wincing mistakes, including accidentally categorising a photo of two black people as "gorillas", but the tech is evolving and finding its way into all manner of Google services. Some are better matches than others. A user needs to align their face in the given frame to allow the app to click a photo.

You've liked the way you look in selfies, but have you ever seen your image as a work of art? Users can share the results on social media - something that has contributed significantly to the app's virality.

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