This Google app found you in famous art, now it can spot your pet

A new photo-matching feature on Google's Arts & Culture app uses machine learning to comb through art history for Ms. Fluffy's lookalike.

Leslie Katz Former Culture Editor
Leslie Katz led a team that explored the intersection of tech and culture, plus all manner of awe-inspiring science, from space to AI and archaeology. When she's not smithing words, she's probably playing online word games, tending to her garden or referring to herself in the third person.
  • Third place film critic, 2021 LA Press Club National Arts & Entertainment Journalism Awards
Leslie Katz
2 min read

Pet Portraits finds your pet's lookalike in art. Humans can also learn about the stories behind the artwork and artists.  


Back in 2018, Google's Arts & Culture app kicked off a viral craze when it rolled out Art Selfie, a feature that lets people find their doppelgangers in famous works of art. Now it's Rover's turn to see which 18th century painting he belongs in.   


Jet and his best match, a hanging scroll titled Black Cat and Narcissus. 

Leslie Katz/CNET

On Tuesday, the free app rolled out Pet Portraits, a fun feature that spots the animal in your photo and crops in accordingly. Then a machine learning algorithm compares your pet's picture with tens of thousands of artworks from museums and galleries around the world to find the closest match. 

Your animal buddy could be matched with ancient Egyptian figurines, Mexican street art, 17th century European oil paintings or Chinese watercolors. My black kitty Jet found his closest match in a 19th century hanging scroll by Zhu Ling that's part of the Metropolitan Museum of Art collection. Jet already had a big head, but now he's pawing around like a genuine art snob. 

It's easy, quick work to find out which work of art Meow Meow or Tweety Bird belongs in. Just open up the Google Arts & Culture app for Android or iOS and tap the rainbow camera button at the bottom of the page to snap or upload a pic of your dog, cat, horse, bunny, turtle or ball python. 

For extra cuteness, the app will even put together a video slideshow showing all your pet's best matches from across art history. Jet is currently sharing his across social media and meowing about taking a trip to the Rijksmuseum.  

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