Microsoft makes AI-generated art the new clip art

Microsoft is getting into the AI art craze with a new app called Microsoft Designer.

Microsoft makes AI-generated art the new clip art


The Future. Microsoft is getting into the AI art craze with a new app called Microsoft Designer, which will be part of the classic Office suite of apps. The hope is to help users make their PowerPoint presentations (or any other design dreams) come to life with endlessly customizable clip art. But it’s possible that that level of freedom and flexibility may prove to be overwhelming to users.

Office Designer
Microsoft is copy-and-pasting DALL-E into its Office suite of apps.

  • The Verge reports that the tech giant is releasing an AI art-generation app, Microsoft Designer, that is powered by the popular DALL-E 2 platform from OpenAI (Microsoft is an investor).
  • It’ll allow users to type in text prompts to generate “everything from greeting cards and social media posts to illustrations for PowerPoint presentations and logos for businesses.”
  • The app is only available for a “limited web preview,” though a full version will roll out soon as a free standalone app and as part of the Microsoft 365 subscription.

Microsoft also announced that it’s bringing a similar AI art-generation model, dubbed Image Creator, to its Bing search engine. According to a blog post, users will be to “ type in a description of something, any additional context like location or activity, and an art style, and Image Creator will make it for you.”

Effort friction
While Microsoft is essentially looking at Designer to be the evolution of clip art, it may require too much effort on the part of the user to be effective for casual use (it takes a perfect text prompt to spit out what you want) and may be too abstract for professional use (generations can be pretty avant-garde).

And, of course, there are still ethical questions around copyright when it comes to using an AI-generated art platform. Microsoft is theoretically putting that power in the hands of more people than have ever touched DALL-E, Stable Diffusion, or Midjourney.

That access may be what speeds up the inevitable lawsuits.