What is Generative AI?

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What is Generative AI?

generative ai - BitDelta

Summary

  • AI is a broad term that dates back to the 1950s. Alan Turing, a legend in the tech world, laid the foundations of AI in his “Computing Machinery And Intelligence” paper by proposing a simple, yet world-changing question: Can machines think?

  • Generative AI is able to pick up patterns and learn them from sample data. It can then generate new results that would follow the same patterns without repeating the initial data. This can be quite powerful based on the type of sample data we feed the machine.

  • AI machines were application-specific and would be useful for only specific use cases. However, this theme has changed with the creation of AI foundation models. Foundation models are trained over a very large data set and are able to help us with various tasks.

  • Considering the skills generative AI posses, it can be used for different purposes. At the moment, business owners are primarily focused on using generative AI for improving user experience, boosting the user retention rate, increasing revenue, or cost optimisation.

  • Maybe bias is the main challenge generative AI is facing right now. The foundation models are simply learning from data samples and can become biased if they are trained using biased sources. This can increase inequality in society and amplify the stereotypes that we already have.

  • Generative AI has been popular among the academic community, however, the introduction of ChatGPT changed this paradigm. ChatGPT went live in late 2022 and was probably the first tool that brought AI and its applications to the public, dragging it out of all the academic papers with big, technical words and making something tangible out of it.

Table of Contents

What is Generative AI?

Before getting to generative AI, let’s talk about Artificial Intelligence or AI for a bit.

AI is a broad term that dates back to the 1950s. Alan Turing, a legend in the tech world, laid the foundations of AI in his “Computing Machinery And Intelligence” paper by proposing a simple, yet world-changing question: Can machines think?

He explains the basics of an AI machine through “The Imitation Game”. 

In this game, a man and a woman are sitting in separate rooms, and an interrogator needs to identify the gender of these two by asking questions. The interrogator knows these persons by labels X and Y. Turing raised the question that what if one of these people was replaced by a machine? Would the quality of the game change, allowing the interrogator to distinguish between the machine and the human?

AI has improved significantly ever since that question was raised. It was segregated into different types and is used for various purposes to make human life easier. AI is taking care of many of our daily tasks and is involved in almost every application we use in our daily lives in one way or another. 

However, today we’re going to focus on Generative AI, one type of AI that has become quite popular recently thanks to some astonishing advancements. You probably know generative AI already by using ChatGPT, the culprit behind the recent hype.

Generative AI is able to pick up patterns and learn them from sample data. It can then generate new results that would follow the same patterns without repeating the initial data. This can be quite powerful based on the type of sample data we feed the machine. Until just recently, AI machines were application-specific and would be useful for only specific use cases. However, this theme has changed with the creation of AI foundation models.

Simply put, foundation models are trained over a very large data set and are able to help us with various tasks. Stanford Institute for Human-Centred Artificial Intelligence defines it as follows:

“Train one model on a huge amount of data and adapt it to many applications. We call such a model a foundation model.”

Foundation models are quite expensive and complex to create, but once created, they will be able to do incredible tasks like writing a computer program that is capable of updating itself!

Applications of Generative AI

Generative AI is primarily here to make our lives easier; it can make some tasks completely automated (like writing an essay) while helping us with doing others in a more efficient way (like providing enough data to a care provider to make a better diagnosis). 

Considering the skills generative AI posses, it can be used for different purposes. At the moment, business owners are primarily focused on using generative AI for improving user experience, boosting the user retention rate, increasing revenue, or cost optimization.

Generative AI and foundation models can be used in:

Healthcare

Foundation Models Application for Healthcare-BitDelta

Foundation Models Application for Healthcare – Source: On the Opportunities and Risks of Foundation Models Report

Considering the large-scale data set they are trained on, foundation models can be quite useful in biomedical research, healthcare tasks and in graphs. They can be used to provide enhanced interfaces for care providers to help them in the diagnosis and treatment of patients.

Education

Foundation Models Application for Education-BitDelta

Foundation Models Application for Education – Source: On the Opportunities and Risks of Foundation Models Report

In education, foundation models can be quite helpful as information is the base of every education system and AI systems can be a know-it-all when it comes to that. They can provide educators with the required materials and tools to provide a better education for their students. Students can also use powerful AI tools that are customised based on their skills and needs.

Educators can also use AI tools to analyse their students’ performance and progress through time while learning new adaptive teaching skills. Even now AI crypto tokens are introduced.

Law

Generative AI can be quite useful in generating legal documents based on the information they have been trained on. However, foundation models should become quite good at reasoning over the data, an important improvement that is currently essential for these models.

Disadvantages of Generative AI

The rapid growth of generative AI and foundation models wasn’t without consequences and their impact on society has raised concerns. With ChatGPT, for instance, these concerns led to multiple governments banning the tool until they were ensured that the privacy of users is protected and preserved.

Generative AI can be biased -BitDelta

Generative AI can be biased – Source: On the Opportunities and Risks of Foundation Models Report

Maybe bias is the main challenge generative AI is facing right now. The foundation models are simply learning from data samples and can become biased if they are trained using biased sources. This can increase inequality in society and amplify the stereotypes that we already have.

Foundation models are subject to misuse as well and can be used for applications that can be harmful to specific groups or communities. Another disadvantage of generative AI and foundation models is the complex and expensive training they have to go through. This process can be quite energy-consuming and impose negative and damaging effects on the environment.

What's Behind Generative AI Sudden Popularity?

Generative AI has been popular among the academic community, however, the introduction of ChatGPT changed this paradigm. 

ChatGPTis a foundation model that understands natural language. In other words, you can simply type your request in informal English and the tool will be able to understand you and generate a high-quality result for you.

ChatGPT went live in late 2022 and was probably the first tool that brought AI and its applications to the public, dragging it out of all the academic papers with big, technical words and making something tangible out of it. 

OpenAI is the company behind ChatGPT. It’s interesting to know that Sam Altman, the CEO of OpenAI, is one of the co-founders of Worldcoin, a highly anticipated crypto project that went live just recently on July 24th, 2023.

We have talked about Worldcoin and its technical details in another article. Check it out now to learn more about this controversial crypto project.

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