Pranav Dar — Published On January 22, 2018

The Arts and Culture app recently released by Google has been making waves on social media. It matches the user’s face with an art work from collections of museums around the world.

Source: Google’s Play Store

The app was released in USA a couple of weeks ago and has also been launched in India this past weekend.

In this app, the user uploads their selfie and the app uses facial recognition technology to match it with a classical work of art. The app tries to find the nearest match using various parameters, but it’s not a perfect fit just yet. Once a match is found, it returns the percentage of visual similarity between the user’s face and the art.

According to Google, the aim behind this app is to engage users in finding out more about the world’s different cultures. Google’s database has more than 80,000 works of art curated from more than 6,000 museums in over 70 countries.

Google Photos, another application of the company’s facial recognition research, has also made leaping strides and can now identify pets with an incredible 99.63% accuracy.

This all comes about with training the machine learning algorithm with tons and tons of images, as Google explained in it’s post on pattern recognition.

The technology behind the application

Google is using facial recognition to identify similar patterns between the user’s uploaded selfie and the art work. Basically, facial recognition detects a face in the image, creates a print of unique characteristics, and then tries to match it with the existing characteristics in the database.

These characteristics include all sorts of facial features, like the shape and size of the eyes and nose to the facial hair the user has (among many, many other features).

Check out a demo of how the app works in the video below:

Our take on this

Facial recognition has been one of the hottest topics on Google’s agenda lately. This app has already gone viral and generated a lot of buzz. The advantage for Google here is that it gets millions of selfies to improve its algorithm and predict with greater accuracy. This enhances Google’s already formidable database of information. It’s safe to predict the likes of Microsoft also rolling out similar apps in the near future to improve the competition.

About the Author

Pranav Dar
Pranav Dar

Senior Editor at Analytics Vidhya. Data visualization practitioner who loves reading and delving deeper into the data science and machine learning arts. Always looking for new ways to improve processes using ML and AI.

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