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MS Paint Gets AI Image Generation Feature with CoCreator

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Paint Cocreator

Microsoft has integrated its AI image generation tool, Cocreator, directly into the Windows Paint application. Previously exclusive to Windows Insiders testing preview builds, this feature is now rolling out to Paint users in several countries. 

With this update, average Windows users can easily create AI-generated images without installing additional software or browser extensions.

As of this week, the image creation capabilities of Microsoft's DALL-E 3 model are now accessible within Paint. Users simply click the "Cocreator" button in the application's upper right corner, between the colour picker and layers panel.

After clicking the button, a prompt asks users to enter a text description of the desired image. Users can specify details like the subject matter, artistic style, colours, etc. The tool then generates three images based on the description.

Previously Only Available to Select Users

Over the past several months, Microsoft has been testing this AI image generation feature with Windows Insiders using preview builds of Windows 11. 

Last week, the company announced it would roll out image creation to Paint users in certain regions, making the capability available to average customers for the first time.

The integration into Paint builds upon Microsoft's existing work with AI image generation over the past year. For example, Bing has offered an image creation chatbot since March of 2022. More recently, Copilot added the ability for developers to generate images.

By incorporating the feature into Paint, Microsoft has put highly advanced AI creative tools into the hands of everyday users.

Tips: To use Cocreator, you need to sign in with your Microsoft account. Cocreator uses a cloud-based service that requires authentication and authorization. Signing in with your Microsoft account also allows you to access your credits, which are needed to generate images with DALL-E.

Currently Released in 7 Regions

Microsoft says Paint's Cocreator feature is now available in the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, and Italy. The company plans to expand availability to other markets over time.

Due to high demand, Microsoft has implemented a waitlist system for the Cocreator functionality. Interested users in supported countries can join the waitlist within Paint itself. After signing up, they will receive an email notification when they gain access.

Early reactions from Windows Insiders and new users have been overwhelmingly positive. In particular, people seem impressed by the DALL-E model's quick turnaround time and creative capabilities.

However, there are some limitations users should keep in mind. The AI sometimes needs help with proper object placement and coherence across larger images. Output quality also depends heavily on providing a clear, detailed prompt.

Still, the accessibility of advanced generative AI represents a major step forward for consumer creativity software. Testing indicates even amateur users can produce compelling digital artworks in minutes with Paint's Cocreator tool.

What This Means for the Future of Creative Apps

The integration of this technology into a basic app like Paint hints at a future in which AI image generation is seamlessly incorporated into many pieces of software. Much like the copilot writes code alongside developers, creative apps may soon work with AI tools.

Rather than replacing human artists and designers, the AI generation seems poised to become an assistant that enhances workflows. As the technology continues advancing, developers of creative programs will likely race to build user-friendly interfaces to these models.

Microsoft adding this capability directly into Windows Paint is an early sign that AI and human creativity may increasingly intertwine via approachable consumer software. It will be exciting to see how other apps in this space follow suit in the months and years ahead.

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