Microsoft Paint could get Midjourney-like powers soon thanks to a surprise AI upgrade

Microsoft Paint Dark Mode
(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has been paying quite a lot of attention to its once-forgotten Paint app recently, which had gone years without any meaningful updates or new features. Now, it seems like the app is getting yet another upgrade - a Midjourney-like ability to generate AI art in real-time. 

So, what does that mean? If you’re unfamiliar with the popular image generator Midjourney, it’s an AI-powered tool that allows you to type in a text prompt to generate an image in a style of your choosing - be it paintwork, photorealism, or even pixel art.

The rumor comes from the credible Windows leaker PhantomOfEarth on X (formerly Twitter), who made a post stating that “The upcoming AI feature for paint may be something known as ‘LiveCanvas’”. While the leaker isn’t entirely sure what exactly the feature will be, it does sound very familiar to Leonardo.Ai’s Real-Time Canvas.

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Real-Time Canvas allows you to draw in one window and watch in a second window as generative AI brings your art to life - like a sort of artistic auto-fill. This would fit perfectly in Microsoft Paint - users would be able to sketch out their ideas or create art and use the generative AI technology to add to it. Microsoft already has some basic (and, if I’m being honest, kind of average) AI-powered image generation within Paint, so it would make sense to add a more interactive feature like this rather than simply a repeat of something they already have. 

We’re quite excited to see how this tool could help budding artists looking to experiment with generative AI, since it’ll be available free in Windows. With the ability to draw in one window and edit in another, you can create the barebones of your outwork and add finer details with the AI. It's approaching a more 'moral' application of generative AI - one that doesn't simply cut out the human creator entirely.

We don’t know much about expected release dates or even have a rough idea of what the feature would look like outside of PhantomOfEarth’s post - and, as always, we should take leaks like this with a side of salt. Likely, the feature will eventually make its way to the Windows Insider Program, which allows Windows enthusiasts and developers to sign up and get an early look at upcoming releases and new features that may be on the way. So, we’ll have to wait and see if it comes to fruition - and get doodling. 

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Muskaan Saxena
Computing Staff Writer

Muskaan is TechRadar’s UK-based Computing writer. She has always been a passionate writer and has had her creative work published in several literary journals and magazines. Her debut into the writing world was a poem published in The Times of Zambia, on the subject of sunflowers and the insignificance of human existence in comparison.

Growing up in Zambia, Muskaan was fascinated with technology, especially computers, and she's joined TechRadar to write about the latest GPUs, laptops and recently anything AI related. If you've got questions, moral concerns or just an interest in anything ChatGPT or general AI, you're in the right place.

Muskaan also somehow managed to install a game on her work MacBook's Touch Bar, without the IT department finding out (yet).