January 18, 2018

"After a brief moment of existential crisis, Google’s question 'Is your portrait in a museum?' has the potential to bring people closer to great works of art."

"After all, I was linked to amazing individuals who sat for accomplished artists housed in major museums around the world. But is it really that effective? A quick review of social media confirms that the Twitterverse is weighing in on their art historical doppelgängers. Alas, the comments of the Twitter hive mind are rather superficial...."

From "Here’s My Problem With the Google Arts & Culture Face-Matching App" (Smithsonian).

25 comments:

Kate said...

That's all I need. Not only does google have my face on file if I use this app, but they can progsplain the history of the person I'm matched with.

*Only portraits of google-approved people were used in the making of this app.

Or:

*Google has decided that, as you are a Trump supporter, your portrait will be accessed from the Napoleon file.

rehajm said...

Not only does google have my face on file if I use this app

...and if Google has it so does anyone Google sympathizes with.

rehajm said...

Sorry, you really do kinda look like that.

exiledonmainstreet said...

When Juan Williams used it, the portrait his face supposedly matched was of MLK Jr. He said another black Fox employee got the same result, although neither of them actually look like MLK Jr. That told me the app was bullshit. And it’s a bit racist, if every black guy who uses it gets told he looks like MLK. Is there a shortage of black men depicted in art or does the app think they all look alike?

I didn’t bother. None of the results I saw looked at all like the photos of the people who supposedly resembled them.

Tim in Vermont said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Big Mike said...

Hey! I found my match. Now where did they hang the picture of “Dogs Playing Poker”?

Nonapod said...

Wow, "What famous work of art do I most resemble?". A perfect app for the vain, self centered, narcissists that make up the internet generation. This will go down well with people who are obsessed with selfies, unaccountable quick comments, and dislike thoughtful discussion. Google knows how to millennial.

Big Mike said...

@exiledonmainstreet, facial recognition works by identifying “landmarks” on the face e.g., center of the top of the nose, and comparing ratios of distances between landmarks. It may be harder to identify those landmarks on dark-skinned individuals, depending on lighting.

tcrosse said...

Is your portrait on money ?

Ann Althouse said...

I was interested in using this app but decided not to participate in Google’s facial recognition data base.

Fernandistein said...

I heard a rumor that the picture your resemble will become your "blogger" avatar, visible to everyone except you.

Fernandistein said...

"you resemble"

Henry said...

I made faces at it and came up with some fun matches.

The only person I know who has pulled up a Vermeer is my youngest son.

I have wondered if the app would be killed by identity politics. As one friend commented, "The Rijksmuseum seems overrepresented."

Infinite Monkeys said...

I was disappointed that users did not seek to find out more about their partnered self

They may have but just didn't tweet about it. I looked up my match, Maude Moore Latham. (Or, rather, one of my matches.) I didn't tweet or post about her though.

rehajm said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
rehajm said...

Winners: Sargent, Vermeer, Botticelli

Losers: Munch, Gainsborough, Lucian Freud, Cecilia Gimenez (that Jesus touch up lady)

JAORE said...

Salvador Dali, I resemble a melted watch.

exiledonmainstreet said...

JAORE said...
Salvador Dali, I resemble a melted watch.

1/18/18, 2:03 PM

That's probably better than Google deciding you're a dead ringer for a demon in a Bosch painting.

Mark said...

Ann, Google seems to have a fair number of your photos already [just image search yourself].

Combined with the publicly available Facebook, UW, and other photos of you I'm sure you're already in their database.

It's cute that you think that by not participating in this one app you think that your face is not already cataloged by Google.

I look remarkably like Louis XV's secretary, which is what my most common result led me to investigate. If I wear the right hat, I get Van Gogh [self portrait] which was fun. Despite multiple attempts, I could not get it to compare me to `The Scream' but I laughed a lot in the process.

JAORE said...

Cosplay opportunities abound.

Freeman Hunt said...

The pictures uploaded to use the app are not saved.

It was amusing.

Ann Althouse said...

Freeman, that convinced me to get it. I laughed and laughed. It’s especially funny to get someone else to do it! I was vain about myself, but found Meade’s matches hilarious. They were oddly varied and included Thomas Jefferson.

Freeman Hunt said...

Ha ha ha! I repeatedly matched with a portrait of William II, Prince of Orange, which was amusing.

Paddy O said...

Either Willem van der Helm, 1625-75 (municipal architect of Leiden--as if you didn't know) or Jochem Hendrickszoon Swartenhont,1566-1622.

Third, "a man" which is vague but reaffirming.

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