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Microsoft Paint's AI update adds Dall-E to let you create images using text

Paint is the latest Microsoft software to get an AI-powered upgrade following Bing, and Microsoft 365 (Microsoft)
Paint is the latest Microsoft software to get an AI-powered upgrade following Bing, and Microsoft 365 (Microsoft)

Microsoft Paint is clearly in need of a revamp. Even though it has been bundled on billions of Windows computers since the mid-eighties, most people have outgrown its simple image-editing tools.

To help revive interest in its overlooked software, Microsoft is turning to artificial intelligence. Leveraging its investment in AI company OpenAI, Microsoft is integrating an image-generator with Paint.

The tech, known as Dall-E, can essentially create images and art from text descriptions. On Paint, you’ll be able to type in instructions for the bot to follow, freeing less creative folk from the tedium of haplessly fiddling with the software’s controls. The update was originally spotted by tech news site Windows Latest.

You’ll see the new AI Cocreator in a dedicated side panel on Paint. For now, you have to join a waitlist to use the new feature, which is limited to a handful of countries including the UK and US.

As with Dall-E proper, there are restrictions on the amount of images you can create for free, and filters that can block images that fall foul of the guidelines. Microsoft warns users not to create images that infringe others’ privacy, are against the law, or cause harm, distress or confusion.

Once you’ve typed in your prompt, you then need to choose an art style, such as oil painting. The more descriptive your are with your directions, the better the end result will be.

If you’re looking for some inspiration, OpenAI boss Sam Altman previously shared a thread on X where he used Dall-E to create images based on suggestions from the public. They included a painting inspired by Banksy that showed a human interacting with a machine, a cat meditating in the Himalayas, and an elephant tea party.

For its part, Microsoft will be hoping AI can do for Paint what it did for Bing. The company’s search engine saw a surge in interest after it debuted a chatbot powered by OpenAI’s ChatGPT. But, unlike Bing, Paint is locked to Microsoft’s software, severely hindering its reach.

Will Cocreator be enough to push Mac users to Windows? It’s doubtful, especially as Adobe has already introduced plenty of AI tricks to its Photoshop software. Nevertheless, the AI Picasso could be enough to pique the curiosity of hordes of Windows users.