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Google

Google's messaging app Allo has unveiled its newest interactive feature: automated technology that can create a Bitmoji-like illustration based on your selfie.

How it works: The user takes a selfie, and Google's neural network gets to work. The algorithm pinpoints the "qualitative features" of the user's face — such as hair style and eye color — then pulls from more than 563 quadrillion combinations to create a cartoon-like version of the user.

Thinking ahead: Google said in its announcement that it hopes to expand the feature's capabilities in the future and eventually create a "pack" of different styles. "This first style that launched today speaks to your sarcastic side but the next pack might be more cute for those sincere moments. Then after that, maybe they'll turn you into a dog," said Jennifer Daniel, Allo's Expressions Creative Director. The feature is currently only available on Android, but it should make its iOS debut "soon."

Go deeper

4 hours ago - World

Biden seeks to reboot U.S. sanctions policy

Sanctions increased under Obama and dramatically under Trump. Photo: Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call

The Biden administration is rethinking the U.S. approach to sanctions after four years of Donald Trump imposing and escalating them.

The big picture: Sanctions are among the most powerful tools the U.S. has to influence its adversaries’ behavior without using force. But they frequently fail to bring down regimes or moderate their behavior, and they can increase the suffering of civilians and resentment of the U.S.

4 hours ago - World

Merkel's farewell spoiled by Poland crisis at EU summit

One last awkward EU "family photo." Photo: John Thys/AFP via Getty Images

Angela Merkel took up her vaunted mantle as Europe's crisis manager for what could be the last time tonight, as she urged the EU to find compromise in its showdown with Poland.

Why it matters: The European Commission has threatened to withhold over $40 billion in pandemic recovery funds after Poland's constitutional tribunal — stacked with loyalists from the ruling right-wing populist party — rejected the principle that EU law has primacy over national law.

Republicans who put it all on the line

Rep. Nancy Mace speaks with reporters after voting to hold Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress. Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

A small contingent of House Republicans risked their political futures on Thursday, they say, in the name of constitutional responsibility.

Why it matters: The nine Republicans who voted to hold former Trump aide Steve Bannon in contempt of Congress are now in peril of becoming political pariahs. They've opened themselves up to potential primary challengers and public attacks from their party's kingmaker — former President Trump.