Emoji and stickers are becoming more and more a part of how we communicate on a daily basis, and Google is getting in on the action with a new Allo feature that generates custom cartoon stickers out of selfies of you, according to Fast Co Design.
Google being Google, though, generating your emoji avatar isn’t just a customizable tool, like Nintendo’s Miis or Snapchat’s Bitmoji. Instead, Google’s version implements machine learning and neural networks to map your facial features to animated versions designed by artist Lamar Abrams, which can then be customized further. The finished product is a variety of different stickers featuring your newly minted cartoon doppelgänger to use in future Allo chats.
Looking at Google’s research blog reveals some interesting methodology behind the seemingly simple integration, as the company describes the efforts it had to take to avoid the uncanny valley and ensure that people of all races, genders, and ages were represented across the generated illustrations.
The new selfie-to-sticker tool should be rolling out today for Allo on Android, with an iOS release coming soon.