Windows 11 24H2 Paint AI requires a Microsoft account and NPU

Microsoft announced the new Paint AI feature called Cocreator for Copilot PCs at its Build 2024 event. This was first spotted and reported by Windows Latest in February 2024, and it’s finally coming. In an update to its support document on June 10, Microsoft confirmed the feature requires a Microsoft account and will only work on 40 TOPs NPU PCs.

Paint isn’t the only feature getting an AI upgrade. The Microsoft AI wave has arrived in all native apps. The Photos app has a Retouch feature, while the Paint app has a Paint Creator feature. Using it, you could generate AI images with the help of DALLE-3 within the app.

While Windows 11’s Paint Creator uses Microsoft’s cloud to generate AI images based on your prompts, Paint Cocreator turns your drawing/outline into an AI masterpiece locally, thanks to NPU. Paint AI Cocreator needs an NPU with 40 TOPs (trillion operations per second) to process images locally.

A 40 TOPs NPU is exclusive to Snapdragon processors included in the new Copilot+ PCs, such as the Surface Pro 11th edition, which comes with Snapdragon X Plus.

But that’s not all. Paint AI also needs a Microsoft Account to work. You might wonder why this is necessary when image generation is performed locally on the device.

The reason is that the images are AI-generated, and Microsoft has implemented some safety checks.

Image Credits: Albacore

As you can see in the above screenshot, Paint requires you to sign into your Microsoft account and warns that interactions with AI Cocreator will be monitored for “safety and security” purposes.

It will remember your prompts, device attributes, and username to prevent the generation of harmful, offensive, or inappropriate content. Paint will block your AI image generation attempts, but Microsoft promised it will not store your input or output images.

Microsoft will also add a C2PA manifest to images generated using Paint AI, making it easier to tell that the image is AI-generated.

Paint AI Cocreator can be turned on older PCs, but it won’t work

After some reverse engineering, Microsoft researcher Albacore turned on the feature on an older device with an NPU that does not meet the 40 TOPs requirement but doesn’t work at the moment.

What happens when you try to use the feature on older PCs? As soon as you enter a prompt and sketch an image outline, it will fail with an internal error.

Image Credits: Albacore

Paint AI is fast

We have already discussed Paint AI’s flexibility in adjusting image style and creativity. Based on the demos we saw at Microsoft Build 2024, Paint AI generates images faster than the older Image Creator feature.

The result is snappier because it uses small language models (SLMs) present locally to create images.

It doesn’t have to send a request to the cloud; wait until the server generates the image and then sends it back. In addition, you don’t have to worry about credits while using Paint AI.

Microsoft has added a credit system to use the Image Creator feature, but that’s not the case with Copilot+ PCs with an NPU, which gives you more room to play with the feature.

Fun Fact: Paint’s cloud-based “Creator” feature was previously called “Cocreator”, but when Microsoft realized it could use the branding for NPU PCs, the company quietly renamed the feature to “Creator” and started using “Cocreator” when referring to NPU-based features.

Abhishek Mishra: Abhishek Mishra is a skilled news reporter working at Windows Latest, where he focuses on everything about computing and Windows. With a strong background in computer applications, thanks to his master's degree, Abhishek knows his way around complex tech subjects. His love for reading and his four years in journalism have sharpened his ability to explain tricky tech ideas in easy-to-understand ways. Over his career, he has crafted hundreds of detailed articles for publications like MakeUseof, Tom's Hardware, and more in the pursuit of helping tech enthusiasts.
Related Post