Google's new Pet Portraits matches your fur baby with classic pieces of art

Google's Pet Portraits App
It follows the Art Selfie feature, which has been used 120 million times since 2018. Photo credit: Google

If you're one of the proud pet owners left disappointed by the lack of trees being planted after sharing a picture of your fur baby on Instagram, here's a new way to cheer yourself up.

Google has just launched a follow-up to its Art Selfie feature, launched in 2018, but now with a focus on our beloved pets.

Pet Portraits works in a similar way to Art Selfie, which has been used by over 120 million people since launch and gives everyone who submits a picture an artwork doppelgänger.

To do the same for animals, users upload an image using Google's Arts & Culture app on Android or iOS and a computer vision algorithm crops the image to put the pet front and centre.

"A machine learning algorithm matches your pet’s photo with over tens of thousands of artworks from our partners’ outstanding collections to find the ones that look most similar," wrote Michelle Luo, product manager, Google Arts & Culture.

They could be matched with "ancient Egyptian figurines, vibrant Mexican street art, serene Chinese watercolours, and more".

Once your pet has been matched with an artwork, further information is then available about the artwork.

In a Newshub test, a cross Labrador puppy called Ziggy was matched with a dog from a 1784 portrait by Moldavian artist Martin Ferdinand.

Ziggy and his art doppelgänger.
Ziggy and his art doppelgänger. Photo credit: Newshub

The painting shows Dominic Salerno, a hunting companion to King Ferdinand IV of Bourbon, with the dogs the "main protagonists" of the image, which are "painted with realism".

We'll leave you to decide on the accuracy of the comparison, which Google's machine learning algorithm puts at 93 percent.

The other good news is your pet's privacy is maintained, unless you choose to share the picture on social media.

"Your pet's pic is only used to find artworks that look like your pet. Your photo isn't sent from your device, and only you can see it unless you choose to share it."

Once you get bored of taking more pictures of your dutiful doggos and cute cats, the app also offers more information, including about the 10 coolest animals in art history as well as fantastic beasts in fiction and nature.