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Minis was created by Expression, a team of artists and technologists at Google, over two years. I was the lead Product Manager for the project. It lets anyone create a digital avatar of themselves, starting with a picture. We use neural networks to help generate a starting point for an avatar, and offer customization features so users can create the perfect character that looks and feels like them. These characters are then used in a large variety of stickers that express different emotions, and can be shared in messaging apps. Minis is currently available on Google's keyboard, GBoard on Android and iOS.

Minis has three personas: Emoji, Sweet and Bold. This lets users create multiple characters, reflecting different parts of their own personality. Each of these personas, through their tone, conveys a different perspective. We've seen users use different personas in communication depending on who their talking to.


Once a character is created, it can be situation in a variety of scenes called Stickers


Minis has a broad set of personalization attributes and options in a variety of categories, ranging from face shape, to earrings and hair color. This enables more than 5 Quadrillion possible characters, and lets anyone create a character that they can identify with. We've seen users create both realistic, as well as abstract and zany characters to represent their identity.

More info Links, and articles
Made possible by
  • Expression art: Jennifer Daniel, Shannon May, Ryan Sands, Helen Tseng, Aster Hung, and more
  • Expression eng: Koji Ashida, Kunal Punera, Utkarsh Srivastava, Neetika Bansal, and more
  • Google's computer vision and machine learning teams