Google announced on October 12 that it now allows some users to create AI-generated images using its main search bar.
Users can now submit a prompt and receive up to four image results, which they can then refine with additional information.
The feature, according to the company, is available to users who have opted into its AI-powered Search Generative Experience (SGE).
The feature will primarily be accessible through the search bar, but it will also be advertised within Google Images results.
Google stated that it will add limitations to prevent the creation of “harmful or misleading content,” adding that user-created images will have watermarks and metadata labels to show that they were generated by AI.
Google said it will soon introduce a feature called “About This Image” for verifying AI-generated and traditional images alike.
In addition, the company stated that its generative search features will allow users to create draft documents, which appear to be separate from its similar Bard feature.
Image Feature similar to Other Services
Google’s AI image generation features will compete with a slew of other services, including Midjourney, Stable Diffusion, Nightcafe, and DALL-E.
While many of these services provide free versions, most require users to purchase credits in order to unlock the platform’s full potential.
Google’s announcement made no mention of payment tiers or whether the features will be free; however, bringing the technology to a search engine with such a large user base will make it more accessible to more people.
Microsoft’s Bing Image Creator is currently the closest competitor. This service was launched in March and upgraded in October. It requires users to create an account but is otherwise free to access via Bing Chat prompts.
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