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The emergence of Generative AI


In the last step, you learnt more about the journey of AI over time. Now we are going to look at one specific type of artificial intelligence which has emerged in recent years; Generative AI, and its widespread application across different industries.

As seen in the previous step, pioneers in the field of information technology, such as Turing and McCarthy, believed that AI could mimic human intelligence. The ability to leverage concepts of AI and machine learning overtime have made the emergence of Generative AI possible.

Commonly referred to as Gen AI, Generative AI refers to a type of artificial intelligence technology that can produce various types of data, including text, imagery, videos and audio. It does this by learning patterns from existing data, then using this knowledge to generate new and unique outputs.

There are many examples of Gen AI, however there is one particular well-known example, ChatGPT. ChatGPT is a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology, has been widely used across the world due to its ability to generate human-like text from simple prompts. For example, a user can ask ChatGPT for a recipe with specific ingredients such as ‘tomatoes’, and ChatGPT will generate a full recipe in text format such as ‘Bolognese’. Gen AI can also be used to compose music, generate speech and in virtual reality.

The emergence of Gen AI has been possible because of three main factors:

  • The widespread availability and use of technology in helping humans perform daily tasks
  • The amount of data available to companies leading to improved accuracy of results
  • The growing number of tools which can be used to analyse this data and identify patterns

Moving forward, our ability to leverage Gen AI will continue to transform our interaction with technology; changing how we communicate, consume, and create content both in our personal and professional lives. Look at the table below which shows some examples of how AI and Gen AI are impacting different industries.


Before moving on, can you think of any more interesting examples where you have seen Gen AI in action? Put your thoughts in the comments section below.

Want to know more? Read the articles in the ‘See Also’ section to hear more about the impact of AI on different industries and the opportunities it brings.

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Digital Skills: Artificial Intelligence

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