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Google's Art App Now Turns Your Selfies Into Famous Masterpieces

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Gif: Andrew Liszewski (Gizmodo)

In what promises to be an excellent way to kill a solid 10 minutes, the Google Arts & Culture app has been updated with a new Art Transfer feature that will apply the look of countless famous paintings and artists to your own photos using machine learning techniques.

The last time you opened the Google Arts & Culture app (available for iOS and Android), which allows users to explore iconic pieces and notable artists through various interactive experiences, was probably a couple of years ago when Google added the Art Selfie feature that used AI-powered image matching to automatically find portraits that best matched a user’s selfie.

Image for article titled Google's Art App Now Turns Your Selfies Into Famous Masterpieces
Screenshot: Andrew Liszewski (Gizmodo)

The latest update also works with users’ selfies, or any photo on their smartphone, but instead of scouring a database for a match, it recreates the image as if famous painters like Edvard Munch, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Vincent van Gogh, Keith Haring, Frida Kahlo, and Leonardo Da Vinci had created some of their most famous artworks using the photo as inspiration.


It’s not just a color filter with some overlaid simulated brush strokes either; Art Transfer uses an algorithmic model born from Google’s Artificial Intelligence team. Based on the artist you choose, your image could be radically altered with bolder colors, added textures, or even completely chopped up and re-assembled, making it barely recognizable any more.

All of the image processing happens locally in the Arts & Culture app itself, so you don’t need an internet connection to turn a selfie into a gallery-worthy masterpiece, and you can choose to process the entire image or a specific part using a painting tool that lets you quickly highlight just part of a photo. The results can also be easily shared as stills or GIFs to your social media app of choice, so expect to see Instagram and Twitter flooded with your friends doing their best Mona Lisa impersonations.