Canva’s new AI tools automate boring, labor-intensive design tasks

Canva’s new AI tools automate boring, labor-intensive design tasks
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As part of its 10th birthday celebrations, web-based design platform Canva is releasing Magic Studio — a new suite of AI-powered design tools that aim to make content creation more accessible to everyone, regardless of previous design experience. Canva describes Magic Studio as “the world’s most comprehensive AI-design platform” for organizations and individual users, providing a host of new tools for automating labor-intensive tasks like converting designs into other media formats or instantly editing images through generative AI.

The suite introduces features like Magic Switch, which allows users to instantly transform an existing design into another format, such as converting a blog into an email or social media post, without needing to manually change the layout or update the copy text. The feature can also automatically translate your designs into over 100 languages without leaving the page. It’s a nifty way to generate multichannel campaigns from a single design and save designers time that’s better spent focusing on more demanding tasks.

Canva has also added a new text-to-video capability to its Magic Media tool (previously called text to image). Powered by Runway AI, the new feature can be used to generate short videos from text-based prompts or an existing image uploaded to Canva’s asset library. The videos can then be used on the platform or exported as an MP4 or GIF to use in other projects. Magic Media’s text-to-image tool has additionally been updated to provide a “wide range of style options for any result.” For those who want to try out alternative AI image generation apps, OpenAI’s DALL-E and Google’s Imagen are also now available on Canva’s app marketplace.

Some new photo editing tools are also included in the release, like Magic Grab — which can select and automatically separate any subject in an image to edit, reposition, or resize it — and Magic Expand, which expands an image outside of its frame, just like Adobe’s Generative Expand tool for Photoshop. You can find a full list of all the new tools coming to Magic Studio on Canva’s website.

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Alongside its new AI suite, Canva is also launching Canva Shield — a new set of safety, privacy, and security controls for the platform designed to prevent its AI from being used to create unsafe or inappropriate content. Canva Shield includes free AI indemnification for Canva enterprise customers and grants team administrators full control over how Magic Studio products are enabled and used across the workplace.

Canva has set aside $200 million to pay users who consent to having their designs used to train its AI models

Finally, Canva has also announced that it will pay out $200 million over the next three years to designers who consent to having their content used to train the company’s AI models. Those who participate in the Creator Compensation Program will receive an initial bonus, followed by monthly payments for as long as their content is being used. Canva doesn’t provide specific figures, but the company’s co-founder and CPO, Cameron Adams, told The Verge that the payments are “determined by a range of factors such as the level of contribution to our content library [and] the number of times it has been used.”

Canva didn’t say whether users would be opted in or out by default. Adams said that the new Magic Studio products haven’t been trained on the data of Canva Creators, that the company is updating its contributor agreement to explain how their data will be used, and that it’s “offering an opt-out option upfront.” Adobe announced a similar compensation program for Adobe Stock contributors last month, likely aimed at soothing tensions between the design giant and creatives who feel AI is unfairly profiting from their work.

Following its previous rollouts for its visual worksuite and AI-powered brand management tools in recent months, Canva is shaping up to be a serious rival to companies like Adobe. The company’s approachable design platform currently has 16 million paying subscribers and over 150 million global users. Adobe has added plenty of new AI features to its own web-based design app Adobe Express, but it may need to do more to compete with Canva’s growing popularity.


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