The new update to Arts & Culture app from Google is letting users find their closest match with museum portraits. And the same has already gone viral thanks to the relative accuracy with which the app goes about doing its job.
No wonder the same has already resulted in a flurry of Twitter and Instagram posts with people depicting the museum portraits they resemble most closely. The way the particular feature works is quite simple too. All that the user needs to do is click a selfie with the app.
After that, the app will be onto the rest of the task, that of finding artworks that makes the closest match with the user’s face. Of course, there isn’t any earth shatteringly new technology at work here. Instead, AI-based face recognition technology of which Google already has developed enough expertise is being put to use.
But then all of it isn’t flawless so far with not all impressed with the results. Some said they aren’t exactly sure how or what made the app pair up with a museum portrait the way it did, but some matches did look impressive.
Nonetheless, a recent deluge of posts on social sites is ample proof people have taken to the app like anything.
— ??? (@batbinch) January 13, 2018
— Nathan Allebach (@nathanallebach) January 14, 2018
However, the app too has its share of naysayers who are skeptical of their privacy. They are also equally distrustful of Google’s intentions behind the entire move, that of luring users into submitting their selfies to the company. Some even said Google might be creating a secret database containing people’s selfie shot but aren’t sure how those might be misused.
— [insert pun here] (@wrdinglanguage) January 14, 2018
Many are also complaining the app isn’t working for many around the world. Thought not confirmed but the feature seems to be working best for those in the US only.
Google, on its part, has said they are storing the image only for the time it takes for the app to find a match. The images are after that discarded; with the time an image is residing within Google’s servers likely to be a few seconds at the most.
However, while that might be enough for many to trust Google with their selfies, a hack into Google’s servers can never be ruled out anytime in future no matter how startling or unlikely it might sound at the moment. And with face recognition emerging as the favored mode for user authentication with many services, which leaves ample scope for misuse of the stolen images.
The app meanwhile has other applications that might be of a lot of help to users, that of providing a virtual tour of many of the world’s most famous museums. If you haven’t downloaded it yet, visit the Play Store.