What is generative AI? | Trusted Reviews

You have almost definitely heard of generative AI. Whether it’s been more recently after OpenAI’s announcement of the scarily-human ChatGPT 4o, or more generally in the last year or so as AI tools have become more widely accessible – and controversial it’s hard to escape the Generative AI bubble. 

And there’s a good reason why; Generative AI is incredibly versatile and can be used for a range of functions, whether as a tool for writing essays, creating images or even helping to plan a holiday – and that’s just scratching the surface of what these GenAI-powered tools are capable of. With that in mind, what actually is generative AI and how does it work? 

Keep reading to find out what generative AI is and how it works.

What is generative AI?

Generative AI is the use of artificial intelligence that uses large language models and machine learning to not only understand the input it’s given, but create an entirely new output, including (but not limited to) text, images and music.

For example, OpenAI’s ChatGPT is a generative AI model that can create stories, menus and more, based solely on a user prompt. 

This content, although ‘new’, is actually based on the vast amounts of training data GenAI tools are fed. That’s where some of the controversies come into play, as there isn’t an easy way for creatives (writers, painters, photographers, etc) to object to training AI using their work.

How does generative AI work?

All generative AI models, whether it’s a chatbot, image generator or otherwise, are fed with vast amounts of content, called training data. The model is then programmed with an algorithm which analyses the patterns in its training data in order to understand what the user wants, allowing it to generate solutions.

How can I use generative AI?

One of the reasons why generative AI has become so widely known is its user-friendliness. Instead of being an inaccessible piece of tech, a lot of tools can be free to use and easy to work with, whether that’s ChatGPT, Google Gemini, Microsoft Copilot or lesser-known tools like Perplexity. Just head over to the site in question, sign up and start getting creative. 

All of the above focus mainly on answering queries and analysing data, but there’s DALL·E 3 if you want to generate images, Synthesia if you want to create video content and invideo if you want to create entirely AI-generated social media videos – and that’s just scratching the surface of the plethora of GenAI tools available in 2024.

Once you’ve decided on the GenAI tool you want to use, it’s as simple as telling it what you want in as much detail as possible. The model will then, based on its training data, generate content according to your prompt. Enjoy getting creative!

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