Google’s latest ML project finds your pet’s double in classic works of art

Brittany A. Roston - Nov 10, 2021, 4:41pm CST
Google’s latest ML project finds your pet’s double in classic works of art

Google is rolling out another fun way to experience its machine learning technology with a new tool called Pet Portraits. The feature has been added to the Google Arts & Culture app for iPhone and Android, enabling anyone to snap a picture of their pet (even if it’s a lizard) to find the animal’s doppelganger in classic works of art.

Way back in 2018, Google launched a fun tool called Art Selfie that, as its name suggests, allows users to take a selfie and find their counterpart in works of art. The new Pet Portrait addition is very similar, but rather than taking a picture of your own face, you’ll snap one of your cat, dog, rabbit, fish, or other pet.

Google’s Arts & Culture app will search through a huge database of existing artwork, including figurines and street art, and use machine learning to identify an animal in the content that has a similar appearance. Users can access the feature by downloading the Google Arts & Culture app on iOS or Android, then tapping the rainbow camera button.

Real bird and art bird

Image: Google

Using this camera within the app to take a picture of an animal will trigger Google’s machine learning algorithm to search for very similar animals featured in the platform’s artwork library. Users can share the artwork Google’s app finds, generate a slideshow of multiple images, or tap on the art to enter an educational portal with more information about the artist and their work.

Google’s Arts & Culture app is home to more than 2,000 institutions and the collections offered by them. The public can use this app to view high-quality scans of famous paintings, statues, and similar works, as well as Street Views of popular landmarks and other famous destinations. Beyond that, Google’s app boasts curated guided tours for users, a translate button for exhibits in other languages, and even the ability to explore art based on color.


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