Generative AI explained.

New York Life | July 18, 2023

Updated January 24, 2024

Everyone is talking about “generative AI” lately. It’s been dominating the news since November 30, 2022, when tech company OpenAI released ChatGPT, an artificial intelligence-powered chatbot, to the public. That was soon followed by Google announcing its chatbot, Bard. 

Here we explain what generative AI is and why it’s so important.

What is generative AI?

Generative AI is a type of artificial intelligence (AI) that can create new content, such as text, images, or music. It does this by learning from existing data and then using that data to generate new examples that are similar in style or content. This is different from traditional Internet search engines, which only return existing content.

There are many different types of generative AI models. Some of the most common types of generative AI models include:

  • Large language models (LLMs), such as ChatGPT and Google Bard, are trained on massive datasets of text, and they can generate new text that is similar to the text they were trained on. For example, an LLM could be used to generate creative fiction or summarize content.

  • Image generators, such as Dall-E 2 and Stable Diffusion, are trained on datasets of images, and they can generate new images that are similar to the images they were trained on. An image generator could be used to generate images of all kinds (e.g., logos, photographs, artwork, etc.) based on the prompt that it’s given. 

  • Audio generators, such as Whisper and MURF.AI, analyze patterns and structures within existing audio data, enabling them to generate new, realistic audio samples by extrapolating from the learned information. These models are also able to transcribe voice to text with much higher accuracy than previous models.

How does generative AI work?

When you type in a text prompt (e.g., write an article on the benefits of life insurance) the chatbot is able to generate human-like results. This is possible because these tools have access to vast amounts of training data that includes books, articles, web pages, and even any information you provide it (e.g., I’m going to submit seven blocks of text to you. Please identify common themes in the combined text).

Where is generative AI being used?

Generative AI is still a relatively new technology, but it is growing rapidly. As generative AI models become more powerful, they will have a profound impact on our lives – the possibilities are endless. Generative AI has the potential to revolutionize many industries, including:

  • Media and entertainment: Create new forms of entertainment, such as realistic-looking movies or video games.

  • Advertising: Create personalized ads that are more likely to appeal to individual consumers.

  • Manufacturing: Design new products or optimize existing manufacturing processes.

  • Education: Create personalized learning experiences that are tailored to individual students' needs.

  • Healthcare: Enable advanced medical imaging analysis, personalized treatment recommendations, and accelerated drug discovery.

What are the benefits of generative AI?

  • Increased creativity: Can provide us with new ideas and inspiration.
  • Improved productivity: Can automate simple tasks that are currently done by humans.

  • Personalization: Can tailor content to our individual needs and preferences.

What are the risks associated with generative AI?

Of course, there are also some potential risks associated with generative AI. For example: 

  • Generative AI could be used to create fake news or propaganda. 

  • The chatbots have been known to “hallucinate,” or make up facts. 

  • They operate in a “black box,” meaning they don’t show how they generate their results.

  • They may produce biased output if the underlying data is biased.

Overall, generative AI is a groundbreaking technology with the potential to revolutionize many industries. It is important to understand the benefits and risks of generative AI so that we can use it safely and responsibly.

This article was written by Google Bard, then edited by a human.


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Media contact

Kevin Maher
New York Life Insurance Company
(212) 576-7937