Microsoft is taking its Bing Chat to the next level of search functionality. Specifically, the company is now adding OpenAI's DALL-E image AI to the new search chatbot. This builds on the integration of GPT-4 earlier this month. Microsoft says that the new tool, known as Bing Image Generator will create images for users based on their written text.
Since introducing Bing Chat last month, Microsoft has planted its flag firmly in the AI space. The company believe the chatbot will usher in a new era of search. Microsoft has taken a lead over Big Tech rivals in AI – mostly notable Google and its today launched Bard chatbot – through its multi-billion-dollar partnership with OpenAI.
Bing Image Creator is the next step. Earlier this month, Microsoft brought GPT-4 support to Bing Chat. This latest version of OpenAI's natural language processing model is a multimodal generative AI that is capable of surfacing human-like responses, images, and audio. Clearly the next major push from Microsoft will be to add voice responses to Bing Chat.
In the meantime, Bing Image Creator is a major evolution for the still fledgling Bing Chat and will also be available in Microsoft Edge. It is worth remembering that the chatbot remains in preview and has only been available for seven weeks. In an announcement post, Microsoft describes how Image Creator works in Bing:
“By typing in a description of an image, providing additional context like location or activity, and choosing an art style, Image Creator will generate an image from your own imagination,” Microsoft head of consumer marketing Yusuf Mehdi says. “It's like your creative copilot.”
Microsoft is no stranger to using the DALL-E image AI and was instrumental in its development. The company has recently announced its use of DALL-E within Azure OpenAI Service and on Windows 11 through the Microsoft Designer app. A long-time major partner of OpenAI, Microsoft was also pivotal in the development of the AI.
To develop the DALL∙E 2 AI, Microsoft built a supercomputer exclusive for OpenAI that runs on Azure. This is the same supercomputer that also trained OpenAI's GPT-3. The AI specialises in generating realistic images from art and adding a natural language description to them.
While Bing Chat recently made it to wide public preview when Microsoft removed its waitlist, Bing Image Creator will roll out slowly. The company says it will make the AI available to a “set of preview users” and the AI will only be available in Bing Chat's “creative” mode.
“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,” Mehdi added.
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