Microsoft has made the AI-powered designer device available in preview


Image Credits: Josep Lago / Getty Images

Today, Microsoft Designer, Microsoft’s AI-powered design tool, launched in public preview with an expanded set of features.

Announced in October, Designer is a Canva-like web application that can generate designs for presentations, posters, digital postcards, invitations, graphics and more to share on social media and other channels. It uses user-generated content and DALL-E 2, OpenAI’s text-to-image AI, to create templates, dropdowns and text boxes for more customization and personalization.

“Since October, AI models have continuously improved, and we’ve worked to weave these powerful capabilities into the designer canvas in a more fun way that puts you in control,” wrote Brian Rognier, GM of Microsoft 365’s consumer division. Blog post published today.

Now a designer can create relevant captions and hashtags for social media posts, providing multiple comments for users to choose from. It can also create AI-powered animated images complete with background and text transitions.

New features coming to Microsoft’s AI-powered designer tool. Image Credits: Microsoft

In the future, the designer will get more editing features, Microsoft says, including the ability to place an object at a specific location in a graphic and automatically fill in the rest of the image. The upcoming “Erase” and “Replace Background” options, meanwhile, allow users to brush out objects, people or backgrounds they didn’t intend to be in the graphic.

Microsoft says that Designer will remain free during the preview period — it’s available on the Designer website and through the sidebar of Microsoft’s Edge browser. Once the Designer app is generally available, it will be included in Microsoft 365 Personal and Family subscriptions, and will have “dedicated” functionality that is free for subscribers to use, though Microsoft doesn’t specify.

Responding to some recent legal questions surrounding AI-powered image-generation systems, Microsoft has said that users will have “full” rights to use the images they create for commercial use by designers and image creators. It’s unclear whether that could change in the future, given the court battles between OpenAI and other startups marketing generative AI tools.

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