The team behind Google's Allo has taken to the official company blog to provide some new insights into how the app's Selfie Stickers were designed and how that will continue into the future. For those that may not have checked out Allo yet, the sticker pack in question allows a user to take a selfie and then uses machine learning to match their features to elements and components drawn by human artists. The whole thing is then brought together to give the user their very own sticker pack with their own cartoon doppelganger, which was initially only available for use in Allo. Some aspects of the A.I.-created face can also be adjusted before saving the sticker pack.
All of that sounds fairly straightforward. However, delving into how that works in the accompanying video, Google's head of communications and design teams, Jason Cornwell, says that the real challenge arises from the fact that the pack is supposed to give a user's personalized stickers a caricatured look. They chose the more cartoon-style approach since caricatures from real-world artists generally attempt to capture more than simple facial features or an exact replication of what a person looks like all the time. Cornwell continues to explain that they exaggerate some features in order to capture who a person is, in that moment, which isn't entirely different from how selfies work. Traditional selfies, he says, often require a person to take more than one photo to capture just the right emotion or essence.
The company views users' individual goals to present themselves in a curated fashion as inspiration and, as a result, wants to take its current offering a step further. In fact, Cornwell points out, allowing more control over stickers has been the goal of Selfie Stickers from near the very beginning. To that end, Allo has now introduced more options for users through the addition of a second sticker style. Cornwell says that the A.I. will still be working in the background, of course, but more styles will also be added in the future. He explains that more styles will give users the chance to present themselves through their sticker pack in any way they choose, from "cute" to "snarky." Cornwell also took the opportunity to remind users that the Selfie Stickers are also now available for use alongside other stickers in Google's official keyboard app.