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Google’s new AI tool will transform your boring photos into iconic works of art

Published Apr 2nd, 2020 10:16PM EDT
Art Transfer
Image: Google

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  • ‘Art Transfer’ is a new feature from Google that can transform your photos into historical works of art.
  • ‘Art Transfer’ relies on advanced AI and does all of its computation directly on your device.
  • The feature is free to use and can be found on Google’s Arts & Culture app.
  • Visit BGR’s homepage for more stories.

If boredom is kicking in after a few weeks of mandatory quarantine, you might want to check out a new feature on Google’s Arts & Culture app called Art Transfer. The feature makes it easy to transform your own photos into historic pieces of art. More specifically, the app takes advantage of AI technologies to take a photo and recreate it in any number of artistic styles from the painting world.

As an example, you can take a photo of your dog and see what it would look like if it had been painted by Lee Krasner, Franz Marc, and of course, more well-known artists like Leonardo DaVinci and Edward Munch. Using the feature is pretty straightforward and surprisingly a lot of fun. It’s essentially an art-themed version of the Prisma app. Even photos of otherwise boring subjects — like a chair — look a lot more interesting re-imagined in the style of famous painters.

Google details how it all works as follows:

Many Google Arts & Culture experiments show what’s possible when you combine art and technology. Artificial intelligence in particular can be a powerful tool not just in the hands of artists, but also as a way for people to experience and learn about art in new ways.

In this case, Art Transfer is powered by -an algorithmic model created by Google AI. Once you snap your photo and select a style, Art Transfer doesn’t just blend the two things or simply overlay your image. Instead, it kicks off a unique algorithmic recreation of your photo inspired by the specific art style you have chosen.

In effect, the app isn’t lazily applying a photo filter to your photos. Rather, every photo you run through the feature yields something completely different. What’s more, the entire process happens right on your iOS or Android device without having to send anything to the cloud.

Interestingly enough, Google adds that the feature was only made possible thanks to the cooperation of various art institutes around the world:

Thanks to cultural institutions from around the world, such as the UK’s National Gallery and Japan’s MOA Museum of Art, we’re able to feature artists like van Gogh, Frida Kahlo, Edvard Munch or Leonardo da Vinci.

If you want to try out the feature yourself, you’ll first want to download the Arts & Culture app, which is naturally a free download. From there, hit the camera icon at the bottom of the screen where you’ll see a few options. Select Art Transfer and you’ll be well on your way.

And while you’re at it, you might want to re-visit another Arts & Culture feature called Art Selfie which finds historical paintings that look like you.

Yoni Heisler Contributing Writer

Yoni Heisler has been writing about Apple and the tech industry at large with over 15 years of experience. A life long expert Mac user and Apple expert, his writing has appeared in Edible Apple, Network World, MacLife, Macworld UK, and TUAW.

When not analyzing the latest happenings with Apple, Yoni enjoys catching Improv shows in Chicago, playing soccer, and cultivating new TV show addictions.