Google's latest face-collecting gimmick is to find a painting that looks like you. Although the Arts and Culture app was originally launched in 2015, the face-matching feature was only added last month. This weekend the app shot to the number one slot in the downloads chart, and 20 million selfies (and counting) have already been donated to Google.
As @ArwaM comments, facial recognition technology allows Google to find the artwork you most resemble – but it also supports the rise of the surveillance state.
And yet Google cannot (yet) compete with old-fashioned serendipity. Before Museum-Doppelgänger-Hunt was an app, it was a viral meme, featuring (among others) @fleezee.
people that found their doppelgängers in art museums omg this is so cool pic.twitter.com/JNlfGp1juP— deenerys (@cdaenerys) December 26, 2017
Guess I'm late to the party. I'm the girl in the photo. I even wrote an article about going viral back a few months back. https://t.co/GKP3lKriSo— Rebecca Fleenor (@fleezee) December 28, 2017
Thanks for all the love everyone! Glad to see my immortality lives on!
But there have been other Doppelgänger-Hunts before, using Face Recognition software. For example, the TwinStrangers project. So which is the egg and which the chicken?
Rebecca Fleenor, I'm on the front page of Reddit. This is how it feels (CNET, 13 September 2017)
Christine Hauser, Meet your art twin: a 400-year-old with an oily complexion (New York Times, 17 Jan 2018)
Arwa Mahdawi, Finding your museum doppelganger is fun – but the science behind it is scary (Guardian, 16 January 2018)
Rosie Spinks, Why the Art Museum Doppelgänger meme is to profoundly addictive (Quartzy, 2 January 2018)
Der fremde Zwilling (Spiegel, 15 April 2015) in German