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Microsoft prepares more AI features for Windows 11: generative AI for Paint, OCR, more

A Windows 11 logo with a thinking emoji

According to a newly published report, Microsoft is toying around with the idea of adding more AI-based features to Windows 11. The company has already announced Windows Copilot, its latest AI-powered assistant, and future updates may introduce even more.

Citing its sources within Microsoft, Windows Central claims the company is experimenting with new artificial intelligence experiences in Windows 11 and its inbox applications. For example, add generative AI into Microsoft Paint (recently received the long-promised dark mode support and centered canvas), everyone's favorite image editor. Open Paint, click the "Magic Paint" button (according to the mockup below), and tell the AI what to generate. A similar experience powered by Dall-E is already available in Bing Chat.

A mockup of Microsoft Paint with generative AI capabilities

Optical character recognition (OCR) is another capability you might soon get in Windows 11, namely some of its stock apps, such as Photos, Windows Camera, and Snipping Tool. In addition, Microsoft wants to make the Photos app capable of recognizing and cutting out people and objects on photos, similar to what Apple introduced in iOS 16. Interestingly, some of those features are already available to Windows 10 and 11 users—the PowerToys app has a built-in OCR tool that lets you quickly extract text from the selected area on the screen.

A screenshot of the Windows Camera App with OCR

The report claims that some of the features Microsoft plans to add to Windows 11 might require dedicated hardware like Windows Studio Effects that only work on devices with dedicated Neural Processing Units (NPU). Other additions should work on existing systems with "conventional" processors from AMD and Intel.

Microsoft is holding a special Surface hardware event on September 21, 2023, where you can expect several new Surface computers and more details about how the company plans to incorporate artificial intelligence into its products.

What AI-based features would you like Microsoft to add to Windows 11?

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