Bing Image Creator, powered by the DALL-E image generator tool, has been around since March 2023. But OpenAI’s latest version, DALL-E 3, is significantly more advanced, making Image Creator more capable and realistic.
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You have to be a ChatGPT Plus or Enterprise user to access DALL-E 3 or earlier versions directly through OpenAI. But it’s completely free via Bing Image Creator in exchange for a Microsoft account (also free), which isn’t a bad deal at all.
Image Creator isn’t perfect. AI-generated images still occasionally contain the terrifying warped hands and eyes, and it hasn’t yet nailed depictions of text. But it’s a major improvement from previous versions, which means the potential for creating AI-generated images — for better or worse — is far-ranging and real.
The advancement of AI-generated images comes with major concerns. There’s the possibility of creating and spreading realistic deepfakes as well as copyright infringement, which remains a messy, unresolved issue. Microsoft has taken steps to safeguard against using Bing Image Creator for nefarious purposes, which are listed in its content policy. However, blocking harmful content hasn’t always been consistent. For example, I was denied when I requested an image of Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce’s wedding. Yet one user successfully prompted Bing Image Creator to generate an image of Mickey Mouse flying a plane away from the Twin Towers on fire in the background. (Trigger warning: here’s the link to the image.) Here’s to hoping people will use Bing Image Creator in less sinister ways.
How to use Bing Image Creator
Bing Image Creator is free, but there’s a catch. When you get started, you’re given a number of “boosts,” which makes image processing work faster, thus limiting high-speed usage to a finite amount. One boost equals one image. So when you run out, Image Creator will run slower. You can get more boosts by redeeming Microsoft Rewards, a loyalty program for using its products. So even when you run out of boosts, you’re not out of luck.
To start using Bing Image Creator, you’ll first need to create a Microsoft account on account.microsoft.com. From there, you can use Image Creator directly within Bing Chat by going to bing.com and clicking the Chat icon — or by going to the Image Creator website, bing.com/create.
In Bing Chat, start your prompt with “create an image of…” or “generate an image of…” and then describe what you’re looking for. On the Image Creator website, simply type a description of the image you want. It doesn’t have to be long, but the more descriptive the prompt, the better the result. Microsoft recommends using “adjectives, locations, even artistic styles such as ‘digital art’ and ‘photorealistic.'”
3 fun prompts to get you started
Why not try kicking off your creative pursuit with a prompt inspired by current events. Unfortunately, you can’t get too specific because you’ll likely get NERF-ed (see my aforementioned failed Taylor Swift and Travis Kelce attempt). Instead try something a little more innocuous.
1. The prompt “influencer at Paris Fashion Week with bed bugs” renders some appropriately terrifying results — both because of the Capybara-sized bed bugs and the influencers’ demonic-looking eyes.
2. You could also try something trippy and fantastical like a “photorealistic image of sea creatures relaxing in a hot tub.”
3. Or you could prompt a personalized creation involving your zodiac sign like “the cancer zodiac symbol in the style of Caravaggio.”
What to do if Bing Image Creator isn’t working
If you don’t get an accurate rendering of the image you request, try being more specific with your prompt. Also, it’s still a new model and won’t always get it right. If you get blocked with a content warning, that means somehow your prompt violated Bing’s content policy. You can report it if you think it was wrongly blocked. If your image seems to be taking a long time to process, you could be out of boosts, but it should be generated within a few minutes.