Microsoft’s new AI art generator will spark your imagination

Microsoft has begun rolling out Image Creator from Microsoft Bing in a preview to select markets, preparing the AI art generator for a wider rollout to Microsoft Edge later this month. In a blog post and related video, the company showed off how Image Creator will work and explained in more detail what limitations it will place upon prompts that users generate.

Microsoft said last week that it would be bringing AI art to both Bing and Edge, using the more advanced DALL-E 2 algorithm to generate the art. It appears that Image Creator will be accessible from Bing.com and a related version will be available from Edge soon after. The company showed off Image Creator working within the Edge sidebar, which can carve out a small vertical column to display search results and other information as well as some useful utilities. It’s here that you’ll be able to access the new image creator.

In a video, Microsoft showed off how users could generate a prompt, using conventional terms like art styles. In the video below, you can see Image Creator return four small results in a matter of just a few seconds. It’s not clear whether that will be representative of general performance. It’s also not clear whether there will be some sort of a credit system or other meter to limit prompt generation.

Likewise, Microsoft showed off Image Creator running within Edge as well.

Here, Microsoft’s approach is more social: the example shown is of a user conceptualizing a “dream house” using Image Creator’s content creation tools, then sharing it on social media. Again, the image appeared in a matter of seconds and four images were generated.

Microsoft’s blog post implied that the AI art generation tools would work similarly to other services such as Midjourney or DreamStudio running on the Azure cloud. “We’ve found that generally, Image Creator works best when you type in a description of something, with additional context like location or the art style you’d like to emulate, as opposed to a more limited description,” Microsoft said.

Microsoft will also use AI to filter queries, applying the same sort of signals that help Microsoft Defender filter out problematic websites, for example. Those blocklists and classifiers will be used to “lower the risk of offensive prompts being used,” Microsoft said.

Interestingly, Microsoft is also applying additional technology to address biases found in generating AI images, too. (Microsoft did not clarify what this means, though anecdotally, certain generic prompts seem to favor results with certain skin colors.)

“We take our commitment to responsible AI seriously,” Microsoft said. “To help prevent the delivery of inappropriate results across the Designer app and Image Creator, we are working together with our partner OpenAI, who developed DALL∙E 2, to take the necessary steps and will continue to evolve our approach. We will regularly take the feedback we have and share that with OpenAI to improve the model as well as applying to our own mitigations work.”

Microsoft said that its image generations would be governed by its content policy, which prevents images of child sexual abuse, non-consensual intimate activity, suicide, terrorism, hate speech, and more.

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