This new Google app will compare your face to famous works of art

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Header photo by Igor Miske on Unsplash

Have you ever wandered the halls of a beautiful museum, perusing the great masterpieces and secretly trying to find a face that looked like yours? Thanks to Google, you no longer have to sift through thousands of paintings or even visit a physical museum.

The “Google Arts and Culture” app, available for both iOS and Android, has a new feature that uses facial recognition software to compare your selfies to famous works of art. It’s not always 100% accurate, but it is pretty amusing.

Upon opening the app, you can either take a selfie or upload a previous shot from your own photos. When I tried it out myself, I decided to take selfies on the spot. I first tried a neutral facial expression, with surprisingly accurate results:

And one pleasantly androgynous outcome:

Then, I tried a smiling picture, but the app interpreted my pale, makeup-free, post-depression-nap face as that of a cherubic young male:

He’s not even smiling. But this explains the last time I was at the airport when the TSA official asked if I was over the age of 12. (I’m 20.)

In an act of cyberpunk resistance against the great monopoly that is Google, I then attempted to thwart the facial recognition software by pushing my hair over my face…



...and was compared to the anguished face of a dying man.

I tried this same method again:

And was labeled over a 40% match to this painting of a man crunching a delicious apple.

Saving the best for last, Google provided me with a new pseudonym in case I should ever need one in this new society where computers can read our faces and search the whole of art history to find our long-lost twins: Augustus Egg.

Hopefully, your adventures with this app are more accurate than mine. Who knows? You might just discover you're a time-traveler.

About The Author

Alex is a junior Creative Writing Major and Music Minor at Agnes Scott College. She likes exploring, sad music, and all things literary.