Generative Artificial Intelligence (AI) refers to a subset of AI that involves creating or generating new content or data, such as text, images, or music, based on a set of patterns or rules. Unlike traditional AI, which relies on pre-existing data to make decisions or predictions, generative AI can create entirely new content that is unique and original.
- artificial intelligence, n.
Oxford English Dictionary: "The capacity of computers or other machines to exhibit or simulate intelligent behaviour; the field of study concerned with this. Abbreviated AI."
- Generative AI
New York Times: "Technology that can generate text, images, sounds and other media in response to short prompts."
- Large language models
"Artificial intelligence trained to generate text similar to human-generated text. They are called 'large' because they are typically trained on a corpus of text data ranging from millions to billions of words." Tate, T. P., Doroudi, S., Ritchie, D., Xu, Y., & uci, m. w. (2023, January 10). Educational Research and AI-Generated Writing: Confronting the Coming Tsunami.
One of the main applications of generative AI is in the creative industries, such as music, art, and writing, where it can be used to produce new and original works. In addition, it has many potential uses in research, including generating new datasets, simulations, and models that can be used to explore complex systems and phenomena.
While ChatGPT is new and more sophisticated than its predecessors, educators have been coping with, and capitalizing on, AI tools for some time. For example, the plagiarism software Turnitin already utilizes AI; language instructors have long received assignments with answers generated by Google Translate; CodePilot is widely used by students in computer science; Grammarly is a well-established writing aid; and Wolfram Alpha is heavily used by students completing quantitative assignments. Meanwhile, AI bots are heavily used in customer service, financial services, and other transactional domains.