Earlier this year, Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook were taken over with "art selfies". The viral feature on the Google Arts and Culture app allowed anyone to upload a selfie and find their museum art match.
As with most viral moments, this one came and went quickly. However, Google is announcing two new experimental features launching on the app and online today: Art Palette and Life Tags. While these may not get the same amount of hype as art selfies, they seem infinitely more useful in the long-term.
Art Palette works similarly to art selfies, but is focused on home decor rather than people. In the same way that you could upload a selfie, you can upload a picture of a piece of art, furniture, or anything else you're thinking of putting in your pad. The search engine uses machine learning to comb through thousands of artworks, searching for ones with colors that match the hues in the image you uploaded. You can also play with different color combinations at the top of the screen without uploading an image. It's a nice way to see how unusual colors can play well together, and get some ideas for what you might like in your own space at the same time.
For Life Tags, Google trained its machine learning algorithms to catalog every item in the over four million photographs that appeared in the iconic LIFE magazine. The resulting encyclopedia allows you to search for any term, from "a-line" to "ring" and see all of the images featuring that keyword. Think of it as a different kind of Pinterest: You can find all sorts of inspiration, from vintage wedding dresses to cake decorating designs.
Like Google Clips, a new device that explores playful ways of integrating machine learning in our everyday lives, Google Arts and Culture is just another place the company is experimenting with machine learning. Beyond art selfies, the app makes accessing and searching through millions of pieces of art and photographs far easier than it's been in the past.