Google Arts and Culture app adds new 'face match' feature

Google Arts and Culture app adds new 'face match' feature

Google Arts and Culture app adds new 'face match' feature

Google's app, one of many from the internet giant, is created to introduce the world to fine art, but a feature that's not prominently displayed now allows users to take a selfie, and compare themselves to works of great art.

To find your fine art doppelganger, open the Google Arts & Culture app and scroll until you see the "Is your portrait in a museum?" feature. Do not open the app before the next step.

As if Chicago doesn't already have enough of a chip on its shoulder, now we are, along with Texas, one of the only two states unable to access the museum-selfie app that's gone viral this week. Google traditionally rolls out new features slowly to specific regions before taking them to all users.

Predictably, many have been using the Google app to find art historical doppelgangers for their favorite celebrities, from Jared Leto to Jennifer Lopez - sometimes with a little Photoshop trickery. You will need to rely on VPN to access the "selfie matching" feature.

The Google Arts and Culture app has been around since 2016, but a recent update adding a "face match" feature is making it widely popular. After installing the VPN app, "Switch Location" should be enabled to select the USA from the list. It's cool to be compared to, say, Picasso, but not so much to look like Ben Franklin-or any of the founding fathers, really.

After tapping "Get Started", Google warned me that it would send my selfies to Google.


Google said the experimental feature uses computer vision technology to scan facial features and extract data to match with paintings. Google's app will show a percentage for the selfie and the portrait with which it matches.

One asterisk on the app is that it's not available in all areas, as a Google Spokesperson told SFGate that the app is limited to the United States, minus IL and Texas.

From Facebook to Instagram to Twitter, my social media feeds of late are flooded with selfies next to famous artwork. Arguably, the app should match all users with art depicting Narcissus staring into his own reflection, but hey, it looks fun.

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