Microsoft Paint’s New AI Image Generator Builds On Your Brushstrokes

A digital drawing of a green sea turtle is being created in the Paint software. The screen displays various drawing tools and color options at the top. A sidebar on the right shows an AI-generated image suggestion of a turtle with a description and creativity slider.

Microsoft Paint continues to try to innovate beyond its humble origins. Microsoft has given its venerable art app a new artificial intelligence image generator.

The new feature comes as part of Cocreator, Microsoft’s AI-powered creative suite, and was unveiled Monday during the tech company’s Surface event.

While AI image generation has become increasingly popular, Paint’s tool does things slightly differently. It can create an image based on text prompts, as is the norm nowadays, but it can also take input via “doodles.” Using their own strokes, users can fine-tune the AI-generated image with more precision.

“Combine your ink strokes with text prompts to generate new images in nearly real time with Cocreator,” Microsoft explains. “As you iterate, so does the artwork, helping you more easily refine, edit and evolve your ideas. Powerful diffusion-based algorithms optimize for the highest quality output over minimum steps to make it feel like you are creating alongside AI.”

It’s an interesting wrinkle in the development of AI image generation, but a good one to explore and iron out, one that could possibly come to other LLM image models.

Users can further customize their results with the “Creativity” slider. This controls how much influence comes from the AI.

“Use the creativity slider to choose from a range of artwork from more literal to more expressive,” Microsoft adds. “Once you select your artwork, you can continue iterating on top of it, helping you express your ideas, regardless of your creative skills.”

The Creativity slider presents users with the chance to experiment with AI or possibly enhance their work while building up practice. No matter the use case, it’s interesting to see how the world of AI image generation can expand. It also presents a new scenario to debate regarding the legality of AI-enhanced artwork and who might hold the copyright in such cases.

Microsoft Paint has previously dabbled with the addition of AI tools. It added the ability to remove backgrounds with a single click rolled out Copilot support last year. However, this latest update brings the AI tools to all users.

All of this comes as part of Paint’s resurrection from the dead. Microsoft sunsetted the program back in 2017. Of course, that death was short-lived, and Paint now stands poised to continue keeping up with the breakneck speed of tech development.

Image credits: Microsoft