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Microsoft continues to ride the generative AI trend, with the company today announcing a new ‘Bing Image Creator’ tool, which will bring OpenAI’s DALL∙E visual creation capacity into Microsoft’s Bing search engine, as well as its Edge browser, enabling users to easily access AI image generation at any time.

Bing image creator

As you can see in this example, Microsoft is essentially integrating DALL∙E into your regular workflow, making it easier than ever to create unique visuals for whatever you need within your process.

As per Microsoft:

Powered by an advanced version of the DALL∙E model from our partners at OpenAI, Bing Image Creator allows you to create an image simply by using your own words to describe the picture you want to see. Now you can generate both written and visual content in one place, from within chat.”

The option is also being integrated into Microsoft’s Edge browser, providing immediate visual creation, at any time.

Bing image creator

The visuals created via the process are owned by the user, and free to use for any purpose, within the usage guidelines outlined by OpenAI. Which could make it much easier to access advanced generative visuals for varying purpose. And while some of the images that DALL∙E pumps out are a little rough around the edges, you’re likely to get a least a few useable examples from your prompts, which could cover a range of usage needs.

Which is probably bad news for stock image sites, and visual artists that make their money from such. That’s the focus of broader legal debate around generative AI tools, which rely on examples taken from across the web to power their functionalities.

That’s likely to remain in contention for some time yet – but right now, users can generate ‘new’ visuals via samples of others, which are then considered unique works in their own right.

That’ll facilitate a range of use cases, and having these tools immediately handy within your web browser could be a handy benefit, which could get more people using Microsoft Bing and Edge in their process.

As noted, Microsoft’s going all-in on generative AI. The company invested $10 billion in OpenAI earlier this year, solidifying their partnership, and it’s since incorporated ChatGPT type elements into virtually all of its workplace applications and tools.

With the hype around generative AI reaching new levels seemingly every other week, that may well prove to be a stroke of genius for the software giant, which is now becoming increasingly relevant in Search and web browsing once again, while it’s also forced Google to show its hand on generative AI, by releasing its own AI features into its tools.

But thus far, Microsoft and OpenAI are benefiting from first-mover advantage, which could end up being a key turning point, if these new tools have the impact that many are predicting.

There are still issues and concerns with Ai generators, and their propensity to deliver incorrect information. But the positives, at this stage at least, seemingly outweigh those concerns.

Either way, Microsoft is riding the wave, which could make its tools a more significant consideration for even more businesses moving forward.

Microsoft says that it’s rolling out Bing Image Creator with a set of preview users before expanding more broadly. For those already taking part in the Bing preview, Bing Image Creator will be available in Creative mode, while it will also be available to selected users in Microsoft Edge.

You can also preview the new Image Creator experience here.