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Google brings India’s mini masterpieces to life with AI, AR

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Google Arts and Culture on Thursday announced it has partnered with the National Museum in New Delhi to showcase miniature paintings in a magical new way with wsing technologies like machine learning, Augmented Reality (AR) and high-definition robotic cameras.

Inspired by the domes and doorways that punctuate Indian homes and public spaces, this is the first AR-powered art gallery designed with traditional Indian architecture.

“Using your smartphone, you can open up a life-size virtual space, walk around at your leisure and zoom into your favourite pieces — you have this beautiful museum to yourself!” said Simon Rein, Programme Manager, Google Arts & Culture.

Though compact (about the same size as a small book), miniature paintings typically tackle profound themes such as love, power and faith.

Miniatures are rich in detailed representations of topics that have shaped Indian culture and thanks to machine learning, one can now discover these attributes across a collection of miniature paintings.

“Art Camera, our ultra-high-resolution robotic camera, was deployed to produce the most vivid images of masterpieces ever seen,” Rein said in a statement.

Using these images, Google created over 75 in-painting tours to help people appreciate details like wisps of smoke from firecrackers, or see the finesse and variety of every person’s attire in a royal procession.

The virtual collection includes 1,200 high-resolution images from 25 collections all around the world and more than 75 stories.


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