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Microsoft plans to escalate access to OpenAI’s DALL-E text-to-image software through first-party software. Microsoft 365’s new Designer app and the upcoming Image Creator tool for Bing and Edge will both incorporate the AI image generator, just a couple weeks after OpenAI ended the waitlist for people to sign up to use DALL-E on the web. Microsoft invested a billion dollars in OpenAI to help secure exclusive rights to its GPT-3 model, using it to power the Azure OpenAI Service and GitHub Copilot coding assistant. The DALL-E integration expands that relationship to the rapidly growing AI image generation space.
Microsoft Designer is a graphic design tool for the 365 suite, along with Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Designer works like Canva and other platforms in the graphics field, but DALL-E’s integration allows users to produce images from descriptive prompts and add them to documents, social media posts, and presentations. Designer offers prepared canvasses for social media platforms like LinkedIn and Instagram, as well as templates for various website formats. DALL-E opens a gateway to far more potential images than the old days of clip art, especially for those without much visual art talent.
“Microsoft Designer is powered by AI technology, including DALL∙E 2 by OpenAI, which means you’re able to instantly generate a variety of designs with minimal effort. Our cutting-edge AI supercharges your ideas. With Designer, there’s no need to spend time building cards or social media posts from scratch,” Microsoft corporate vice president for modern life, search, and devices Liat Ben-Zur said. “Designer invites you to start with an idea and let the AI do the heavy lifting. For example, with ‘start from scratch’ within Designer, you can simply describe an image you want to see, and the app does the work for you to create something totally unique. As you work in Designer, every surface of the app is powered by AI to help ensure consistent, aligned, properly scaled, and beautiful designs, even with or without any inherent design ability.”
Those interested can sign up for Designer now, but DALL-E fans will have a chance in a few weeks to apply the synthetic media tool to Microsoft’s Edge web browser or Bing search engine through the upcoming Image Creator tool seen above. Microsoft will add Image Creator to Bing’s Images tab and as a sidebar button for Edge. Unlike Designer, Image Creator isn’t independent of OpenAI’s online service. Instead, it functions more like a shortcut for accessing and using DALL-E without going to the website. Image Creator will be free, though not widely available immediately.
“To help prevent DALL∙E 2 from delivering inappropriate results across the Designer app and Image Creator, we are working together with our partner OpenAI, who developed DALL∙E 2, to take the necessary steps and will continue to evolve our approach,” Ben-Zur said. “For example, OpenAI removed explicit sexual and violent content from the dataset used to train the model, and Microsoft deployed filters to limit the generation of images that violate content policy. On top of that, Microsoft has integrated techniques that further help to prevent misuse, including additional query blocking on sensitive topics.”
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