we tested the new image creator in the Photos application… And we didn’t expect that!

The Windows Photos and Paint applications are enriched with a feature called Cocreator, or image creator. Available only on certain PCs, this allows images to be generated using “local” AI. We have tested it and offer you a brief overview of its options and especially the results obtained.

Many software publishers and websites have launched into the era of artificial intelligence. But so far, you either have to rely on online services or rely on the processor / graphics card pair.

With the new Copilot+PC computers, Microsoft’s proposal is more than attractive: allow certain Windows 11 applications to exploit a dedicated chip called NPU (Neural Processing Unit). Everything is done locally, which ensures better data confidentiality and does not require a permanent connection. This also unloads the main processor (the CPU) and the graphics card (the GPU). Saving time, saving power, better confidentiality: this is the great promise of this technology which wants to be included in all our PCs.

How to spot a PC capable of generating a photo via the NPU?

To be labeled “Copilot+PC”, these new computers must have an NPU capable of process at least 40 TOPS (i.e. 1012 operations per second). Currently, only PCs equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon which should be done shortly.

Windows 11 Photos image generator

Under Windows 11, several applications already exploit the NPU of these new PCs. For example, there is Paint, but also the Photos software. The promise of the latter made us want it: according to Microsoft, using a simple prompt, the application is capable of generating images without connecting to the Web, relying solely on the power of the NPU integrated into the PC . And it does even more than that, since it suggests a seemingly infinite quantity of results and variations.

For the occasion, the Windows 11 Photos application is enriched with a new tab, located in the left menu of the interface. Entitled “Image Creator” and based on Dall-E 3 from OpenAI, this tool allows you to generate a photo via a prompt. When you click on the tab in question, you find yourself faced with a simple and effective interface: a space dedicated to the prompt, a small slider allowing you to adjust the level of “creativity” and keyword suggestions. And below this little world, we find the results of the prompt which are displayed in cascade.

We put the Paint application to the test and here is the result!

To begin with, we wanted to test the relevance of the NPU in a purely material way. We therefore successively launched around ten prompts. A quick look in the Windows 11 Task Manager tells us that it is the NPU that does all the work: the increase in load of this processor oscillates between 40 and 100%, while that of the CPU remains completely calm. Good point therefore: the Windows 11 Photos application supports the NPU of the new “Copilot+PC”.

Windows 11 Photos image generator

Secondly, and this is probably the most interesting point of our test, we launched about twenty prompts using the Photos app. And that’s where things went wrong. The generation of photos via AI is sometimes correct, as illustrated by the capture above (the one with the house in the woods). It’s quite pretty, even if you can clearly feel the AI ​​touch. On the other hand, we may deplore certain instructions, although basic, that are not systematically taken into account: despite our request for a nocturnal atmosphere, many images are in broad daylight. Either…

The worst is yet to come: when it comes to representing human beings, AI is literally in trouble. It feels like one of the first versions of Midjourney, which has evolved a lot since then. An emotion like anger gives rise to an often grotesque, even inhuman, appearance. Joy is not always well understood, whether in English or French.

Windows 11 Photos image generator

As for the representations of the limbs (the arms or the hands), it gives you a cold sweat. Sometimes individuals find themselves with more than five fingers, sometimes with fewer. And in some cases, they even have no hands.

In the end, the various results that we obtained via our twenty prompts are not convincing. For the moment, there is nothing to justify the purchase of a computer labeled “Copilot+PC” and we will prefer to rely on more professional tools like Midjourney or Adobe Firefly. We can now bet that Microsoft will rectify the situation via an update of its engine, or that other applications exploiting the NPU will see the light of day quickly.

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