One would not expect that an arts and culture app would generate much buzz at all in the normal course of life, but there are some apps that defy our expectations. Although Google has had a particular arts and culture app out for two years without much fanfare, it is suddenly catching fire. The reason? Because now you can compare your own picture to great works of art from throughout the years.
Interestingly, the feature is only available to people in some states within the United States, it is not a universally available kind of thing. For example, big states like Texas and Illinois do not have access to it because they have stricter privacy laws than do a lot of others.
There are some who are raising concerns with this app in general though. Most specifically, people of color have been frustrated by the app’s lack of diversity. They point out that their face is often matched up with someone from their same race that looks practically nothing like them. They say that the app seems to just care that it can get into the same racial ballpark as the person it is trying to match up.
Others have pointed out that the app just goes to show how little representation there is of races other than white in a lot of historical art. This is a fact, and it is something that is sure to frustrate those who are people of color who want to join in this cultural phenomenon with all of the rest of us. It is pretty unfair that they are subjected to getting whatever random character there is that happens to share their race.
The app draws from artwork that is available in museums around the world. However, the bulk of the artwork that it picks up are from museums in the United States and Western Europe. Thus, you are looking at mostly pictures of white people in the art.
Google spokespeople have said that the team that put the app together have been surprised by the success of it. They also say that it is still growing and expanding, and that these kind of hiccups along the way are just part of becoming an overnight viral success. It is not something that the app expected to happen, and it might take some time to adjust to the new increase in viewership that it is seeing around the world