Microsoft's Bing AI chat can already be helpful for finding answers, but now it can help you produce fanciful pictures. The company has introduced a Bing Image Creator preview that adds OpenAI's DALL-E AI image generation to both Bing search and a sidebar in the Edge browser. You just have to ask the chatbot to create an image with either a direct description or a follow-up to a previous query. If you're wondering how to revamp your living room, you can ask Bing to draw some ideas based on your criteria.
Yes, Microsoft is aware of the potential for things to go awry. The company says it's applying "additional protections" beyond OpenAI's own. It will block you from creating potentially "harmful" images, the firm says. Microsoft also explicitly clarifies that images are AI-generated, including through watermarks.
Image Creator is available to a selection of Bing desktop and mobile users in preview and through a dedicated site. Edge users have access as well If you're part of the test group, you'll have to toggle the Creative mode to give the generator a try. Microsoft plans to bring the creative tool to Balanced and Precise mode users in the future, though, and plans to fine-tune the system's behavior in multi-step chats. While the technology only supports English, more languages are in the works.
More forms of AI are finding their way into Bing. The company is rolling out AI-based Knowledge Cards that now offer "dynamic" quick-glance info like charts and timelines. Stories, meanwhile, provide images and short videos linked to searched topics.
The DALL-E tool comes just as Adobe has unveiled plans to put generative AI in Photoshop, After Effects and Premiere Pro, while NVIDIA is launching a customizable cloud AI service that includes image creation. While Microsoft clearly isn't competing directly with Adobe or NVIDIA, it's joining a wave of tech giants that see AI image production as a valuable tool. Bing Image Creator might also provide a competitive edge over Google, which only just widened access to its Bard AI chat following a limited test.