bbc– They say dogs resemble their owners, but has your pet’s portrait already been painted by Picasso or Rembrandt?
Google’s “Pet Portraits” uses machine learning to match pets to their “art doubles” held in the collections of institutions around the world.
The furry-friend matching tool has been added to Google’s Arts & Culture app for Android and iOS.
A similar 2018 feature for human faces saw 120 million selfies uploaded.
According to Google, a computer vision algorithm recognizes where your pet is, and crops the image.
Then, “a machine learning algorithm matches your pet’s photo with over tens of thousands of artworks”.
Users can tap on the results to learn more about the stories and artists behind each artwork.
To test the system, the BBC enlisted the help of Smudge, a four-year-old black and white cat owned by a member of staff.
According to Google’s algorithm, Smudge most closely resembles “Black Cat and Narcissus” – a hanging scroll by 19th-century Chinese artist Zhu Ling – currently held in the collection of the The Metropolitan Museum of Art of New York City.
Image recognition is of increasing use to big-tech companies, but Google’s culture app disclaimer suggests pet images remain on your phone and are not used for other purposes.
“Your pet’s pic is only used to find artworks that look like your pet,” it promises. “Your photo isn’t sent from your device, and only you can see it unless you choose to share it. “