Microsoft has given its Bing AI chatbot the ability to generate images by simply describing the picture in a few words.
The tool -- Bing Image Creator, announced Tuesday -- can generate written and visual content in seconds. It’s free and available on desktop and mobile.
“We know from research that the human brain processes visual information about 60,000 times faster than text, making visual tools a critical way people search, create and gain understanding,” Yusuf Mehdi, corporate vice president & consumer chief marketing officer, wrote in a blog post. “Based on Bing data, images are one of the most searched categories – second only to general web searches.”
Historically, Mehdi wrote, search was limited to images that already existed on the web, and now there are almost no limits to what people can search for and create.
Bing preview users can generate images by typing something like “draw an image” or "create an image," followed by the prompt.
As with other AI-powered image generators, the more detailed the prompt provided, the more specific and consistent the output will be
Microsoft has put controls in place that aim to limit the generation of harmful or unsafe images.
When the system detects that a potentially harmful image could be generated by a prompt, it blocks the prompt and warns the user. A modified Bing icon will appear in the bottom left corner of each image generated by the AI to help indicate that the image was created using Image Creator.
The plan is to only include Image Creator in the Creative mode of Bing chat and Edge, and the company intends is to make it available in Balanced and Precise mode over time.
“We are also working on some ongoing optimizations for how Image Creator works in multi-turn chats,” Mehdi wrote. “We continue to believe the best way to bring these technologies to market is to test them carefully, in the open, where everyone can provide feedback.”Along with Bing Image Creator, which is Powered by an advanced version of the DALLE model from OpenAI, Microsoft introduced an AI-powered visual Stories and update to Knowledge Cards. All are available in the Bing search engine and the Edge browser preview.