Google Allo Gaining Personalized Sticker Packs Generated Through Neural Network-Powered Selfies

Google this week announced an update coming soon to its iOS Google Allo app, which will introduce neural network-generated stickers that are personalized to match your own distinct look. The company said that the new feature will combine neural networks and the work of artists to turn your selfies into unique sticker packs, which can then be used in Allo, the company's messaging app.

The process to generate the stickers is relatively simple, according to Google, with the sticker packs of your likeness being created "on the fly" after you take a selfie. If you aren't happy with some aspects of the stickers, a few customization options will appear so you can tweak and personalize even more. You can take a selfie with a few filters for a more comical sticker pack, or opt for results that more closely resemble you.


Google went deeper into the process of developing the neural network for the new sticker pack feature in Allo, as well as how the collaborative artists working with the company affected the end results. The pack that will debut at launch is said to be the first in a line of artistic styles -- Google said it "speaks to your sarcastic side" -- and future updates will add different emotive artwork that "might be more cute for those sincere moments."

The first pack was designed by artist Lamar Abrams, who works as a story boarder on Steven Universe, and whose feature designs for Allo help account for more than 563 quadrillion potential combinations of personal stickers.
To create an illustration of you that captures the qualities that would make it recognizable to your friends, we worked alongside an artistic team to create illustrations that represented a wide variety of features. Artists initially designed a set of hairstyles, for example, that they thought would be representative, and with the help of human raters we used these hairstyles to train the network to match the right illustration to the right selfie.

We then asked human raters to judge the sticker output against the input image to see how well it did. In some instances, they determined that some styles were not well represented, so the artists created more that the neural network could learn to identify as well.
Google Allo launched last year and combined standard messaging threads, photo editing, and stickers with the company's AI helper Google Assistant. The AI could be brought up directly within a chat thread to find somewhere nearby to eat (even by using related emojis, like the taco), search for a YouTube video, and more.

A few of the 563 quadrillion combinations that can come from Abrams' basic feature illustrations

Google didn't confirm when the new neural network update would appear on Google Allo for iOS [Direct Link], but Android users can use the selfie feature right now.

Tags: Google, Allo


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25 months ago
Another solution in search of a problem...
Rating: 7 Votes
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25 months ago
How can Google of all software companies, make terrible apps and then keep supporting them? Is this what a big company bureaucracy looks like?

Hangouts and Voice are terrible, I always scratch my head the few times I have to use them.
Rating: 5 Votes
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25 months ago
I really don't understand this sticker trend. Why not just type out what you want to say? Eh, maybe it's just me.
Rating: 5 Votes
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25 months ago
"The years passed, mankind became stupider at a frightening rate. Some had high hopes the genetic engineering would correct this trend in evolution, but sadly the greatest minds and resources where focused on conquering hair loss and prolonging erections."
Rating: 4 Votes
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25 months ago
The amount of uses for this isn't 0, it's a negative number.
Rating: 3 Votes
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25 months ago
I don't know what's worse, trying to hype something so lame by using the buzzword "neural", or that the results are so hideously ugly.
Rating: 2 Votes
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25 months ago

I really don't understand this sticker trend. Why not just type out what you want to say? Eh, maybe it's just me.

I still look back with fondness of the days when I used to have A-team and Knightrider stickers on my headboard and Panini football albums.

I can't imagine kids today looking back in 35+ years time saying to their families "yeah, I once messaged my friend a photo him, with pink clouds poorly overlaid above his head".

Some tech is great, some is fun. This to me though is just neither, it'd be better if they did something more impressive, something that really interacted with the image that would make you want to print it out, frame it, and keep it.

For example, Google's Auto-awesome, that takes some photos and automatically transforms them and more often than not, they are brilliant.
Rating: 1 Votes
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25 months ago
"This what innovation looks like"

Some will say...

This is why I believe in the future of Apple. Sure machine learning, neural nets are important, etc.

But a company in their position, I expect them to come with the "science" only when they have the right "product" for it.

For example, the iPhone 7 Plus camera is excellent, the best in the market, and uses ML, but they don't even need to say that or the user has to know and they don't even need to be at the forefront of the subject.

I expect Apple to come with the product that "this is it", like the iPod and micro hard drives, the Macintosh with 32 bit CPUs, the 2009 MacBook with unibody manufacturing, etc.
Rating: 1 Votes
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25 months ago
wow. I would have never imagined all the progress and advanced AI in the 21st century would lead to cartoon stickers ...
Rating: 1 Votes
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