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What is Generative AI and How Does it Work?

December 13 2023
Author: V2Soft
what is generative AI

What is Generative AI?

Generative AI, short for Generative Artificial Intelligence, is a category of artificial intelligence techniques and models designed to generate new content, data, and other varieties of output that resemble human-created content. These models create outputs based on patterns and information they've “learned” from the training data absorbed from the Internet.

Generative AI systems work by “learning” from large datasets and stores of content, and generating new data and outputs. They can be used for a wide range of tasks, such as:

  • Text Generation: Creating coherent and contextually relevant written content, such as articles, stories, poems, essays, white papers, etc.
  • Image Generation: Producing images that can resemble anything from human faces to entirely imaginary scenes as dictated by those making the inputs. It’s possible, for example, to illustrate a book by giving the write commands to the Generative AI program.
  • Music Composition: Generating musical compositions that imitate various styles and genres.
  • Video Synthesis: Creating new videos based on learned visual patterns, which can have applications in, for example, video game design and even movie production.
  • Style Transfer: Transforming content from one style to another, such as turning a photograph into a painting in the style of a famous artist.
  • Data Augmentation: Generating additional training data to improve the performance of other machine learning models.

How Does Generative AI Work?

Generative AI utilizes complex neural network architectures to learn patterns in a given dataset. These architectures are created on large amounts of data. Once created and trained, the models generate new data that follows similar patterns to the training data. In this way, most Generative AI programs avoid plagiarism and other violations of intellectual property rights.

How We Evaluate Generative AI Models?


Evaluating the quality of generative AI programs can be challenging, as humans have subjective standards of quality. For example, one person might think an essay generated on the topic of, say, “organic gardening” is competent, while others with more expertise on the subject may judge it to be over-simplified or even inferior to what a knowledgeable human could create. Here are some common methods and metrics used to evaluate the quality of generative AI outputs:

Human Evaluation:

Human judges assess generated content and provide subjective feedback on its quality. This can involve evaluating the creativity, realism, coherence, and appeal of the AI-generated generated output. For visual outputs like images or videos, visual inspection by humans is the primary method. Experts or non-experts assess whether the generated content looks coherent and aesthetically pleasing.

Perceptual Metrics:

Metrics like Inception Score, Fréchet Inception Distance (FID), and Structural Similarity Index (SSIM) are often used to quantify the quality of images generated by AI. These metrics attempt to measure how closely the generated content matches real data and the ask made by an administrator.

Likert Scale Surveys:

Users are asked to rate AI-generated outputs on a Likert scale (ratings on a scale of 1 to 5) for various criteria, such as realism, creativity, and diversity. Aggregating these scores can provide insights for the administrator of the outputs.

User Studies:

Running studies where participants interact with or consume the generated content and provide feedback can help gauge the effectiveness and appeal of the AI's outputs.

Comparative Evaluation:

Comparing the generative AI outputs against existing benchmarks, other models, or human-created content can provide a relative measure of quality.

Style and Content Control:

If the generative model aims to produce content with specific attributes or styles, evaluating whether the AI can accurately control these attributes can be an important aspect of quality assessment.

Human-Generated Content Mixing:

Mixing generated content with real human-created content and asking participants to distinguish between the two can provide insights into the realism of the generated outputs.

Bias and Fairness Evaluation:

Assessing the presence of biases, stereotypes, and other ethical concerns in generated content is crucial. Various tools and metrics can be employed to detect and quantify biases in AI-generated content.

It's worth noting that evaluating generative AI quality is still an active research area, and no single metric or method is perfect. A combination of the above techniques, along with expert judgment and domain-specific considerations, is often used to comprehensively assess the quality of generative AI programs.

Generative AI Diversity

Testing generative AI for diversity is an important step to ensure an AI system produces a wide range of outputs and avoids biases or over-representations of certain patterns or ideas. Here are some testing approaches.

  • Intrinsic Metrics: These are metrics specifically designed to evaluate diversity.
  • N-gram Diversity: Measure the diversity of n-grams (sequences of n words) in generated text. Higher diversity indicates a wider range of language use.
  • Unique Tokens: Count the number of unique tokens (words or subwords) in generated text. More unique tokens indicate more diversity.
  • Entropy: Calculate the entropy of word distributions in generated text. Higher entropy implies greater diversity.
  • Extrinsic Metrics: Use external measures like user surveys or human evaluators to judge diversity, relevance, and quality of generated content.
  • Content Sampling: Generate a large sample of content using the AI model and manually review it for diversity. Look for repetitive patterns, biased outputs, or excessive similarity.
  • Bias Analysis: Use bias detection tools to check for any unintended biases in the generated content. Pay attention to gender, race, religion, and other sensitive attributes.
  • User Studies: Conduct user studies or surveys where human participants evaluate the diversity of generated content. Ask them to rate the diversity and novelty of the content.
  • Adversarial Testing: Create adversarial scenarios where the AI system is challenged with inputs designed to provoke biased or non-diverse responses. Evaluate how well it handles these situations.
  • Continuous Monitoring: Regularly monitor the model's outputs in real-world applications and use feedback loops to make improvements based on user feedback.
  • Benchmarking: Compare the diversity of your generative AI system with other similar models or baseline models to get a sense of its performance relative to others.

Remember that diversity testing should be an ongoing process. Continuously gather feedback and iterate on your model to improve its diversity and mitigate any potential biases.

Generative AI Speed

Testing generative AI models for speed is essential to ensure that they can generate responses quickly and efficiently. Here are some methods and considerations for evaluating the speed of generative AI models:

Inference Time Measurement:

Measure the time it takes for the model to generate a response when given an input. This can be done by recording the start and end times of the inference process.

Batch Inference:

Test the model's inference time when processing multiple requests in a batch. Many applications require handling multiple requests simultaneously, and batch processing can be more efficient than one-by-one inference.

Model Parallelism:

Split the model into smaller parts and run them in parallel on multiple devices or GPUs. This can significantly speed up inference for large models.


Cache frequently generated responses to avoid re-generating them for identical or similar inputs. This can reduce response time for common queries.

Real-World Testing:

Test the model in a real-world scenario or application to assess its performance under actual usage conditions. This can reveal how well it handles real-time requirements.

Remember that the choice of hardware and software infrastructure can also have a significant impact on the speed of generative AI models, so it's important to consider the entire system when assessing performance. Additionally, optimizing for speed should be balanced with the need to maintain model quality and accuracy.


What does it take to build a generative AI model?

Building a generative AI model involves several key steps and considerations. Here's an overview:

  • Data Gathering: Gather a diverse and representative dataset that is relevant to the task you want the generative AI model to perform. The quality and quantity of your data are crucial.
  • Data Cleaning: Clean and preprocess the data to remove noise, handle missing values, and ensure consistency. Tokenize text data and convert it into a suitable format for training.
  • Selecting a Model Architecture: Choose an appropriate generative model architecture. Common choices include:
  • Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs): Suitable for sequential data like text.
  • Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs): Used for image generation.
  • Transformers: Highly versatile and effective for various generative tasks, especially with large datasets.
  • GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks): Effective for generating realistic images and data.
  • VAEs (Variational Autoencoders): Used for generating data with probabilistic encodings.
  • Model Design: Design the architecture of your generative model. This involves specifying the number of layers, units, and other hyperparameters. You may also need to design auxiliary networks or components if your task requires them.
  • Training: Prepare your data for training, including creating training and validation sets. Training may require significant computational resources and can take a long time, especially for large models.
  • Evaluation: Evaluate the generative model's performance using appropriate metrics. The choice of metrics depends on the task, such as perplexity for language models or FID (Fréchet Inception Distance) for image generation.
  • Ethical Considerations and Bias Mitigation: Address ethical concerns and biases in your data and model. Implement strategies to mitigate biases and ensure fairness and inclusivity.
  • Deployment: Deploy the generative AI model in your target environment, whether it's a web application, mobile app, or server. Consider scalability and resource requirements.
  • Monitoring and Maintenance: Continuously monitor the model's performance in the real world and collect user feedback. Make necessary updates and improvements over time.
  • Scaling and Optimization for Production: Ensure that the deployed model can handle production-level workloads efficiently. Implement load balancing, caching, and other strategies to optimize resource usage.
  • Compliance and Security: Address data privacy and security concerns, especially if the generative AI model deals with sensitive information.
  • User Experience Design: Design user interfaces and user experiences that effectively utilize the generative AI model, making it user-friendly and valuable.
  • Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Ensure that your generative AI system complies with relevant laws and regulations, especially in areas like data privacy and intellectual property.

Building a generative AI model is a complex and iterative process that requires expertise in machine learning, data engineering, software development, and domain knowledge. It's important to stay up-to-date with the latest research and best practices in the field to build effective and ethical generative AI systems.


The Power of Generative AI

Text Generation:

The power of AI in text generation lies in its ability to understand, process, and generate human-like text at a scale and speed that was previously unimaginable. Here are some key aspects of the power of AI in text generation:

Natural Language Understanding:

AI models can comprehend and analyze human language, including nuances, context, and subtleties. This enables them to generate text that is contextually relevant and coherent.

Automation and Efficiency:

AI-driven text generation can automate the creation of vast amounts of content, saving significant time and effort. This is particularly valuable for content generation in various industries, from journalism to marketing.


AI can tailor text to individual users or target audiences, providing highly personalized content experiences. This is seen in recommendation systems, chatbots, and targeted marketing campaigns.

Multilingual Capabilities:

AI models can generate text in multiple languages, breaking down language barriers and enabling communication and content creation on a global scale.


AI can generate text on a massive scale, making it suitable for applications like data augmentation, translation services, and content generation for e-commerce websites.


AI can maintain a consistent tone, style, and brand voice across large volumes of text, ensuring a cohesive and professional image for businesses and organizations.

Content Generation for Niche Domains:

AI can generate text for specialized domains, such as medical reports, legal documents, and scientific papers, with accuracy and domain-specific knowledge.

Enhancing Creativity and Inspiration:

AI can assist writers, artists, and content creators by generating ideas, suggestions, or drafts, helping to overcome creative blocks and fostering innovation.

Translation and Localization:

AI-driven translation and localization services can quickly adapt content for different regions and cultures, facilitating global communication and market expansion.


AI can generate alternative text for images, transcribe audio content, and create subtitles, making digital content more accessible to individuals with disabilities.

Data Insights:

Text generated by AI can be analyzed to extract insights, sentiment analysis, and trends, aiding in decision-making, market research, and customer feedback analysis.

Rapid Response in Customer Service:

Chatbots and virtual assistants powered by AI can provide immediate responses to customer inquiries and support requests, improving customer service efficiency.

Content Summarization:

AI models can summarize lengthy texts, such as articles or research papers, into concise and easily digestible formats.

Enhanced Search and Information Retrieval:

AI-generated metadata, tags, and summaries can improve the searchability and relevance of content in databases and search engines.

Human-AI Collaboration:

AI can collaborate with humans in content creation, assisting authors and editors with suggestions, grammar checks, and style recommendations.

While the power of AI in text generation is evident, it also comes with challenges and ethical considerations, such as the need to ensure content quality, avoid biases, and address concerns related to misinformation and fake news. Therefore, responsible development and use of AI in text generation are essential to harness its potential while mitigating risks.


Image Generation

AI's power in image creation is transformative and has opened up new horizons in various fields. Here are some key aspects of the power of AI in image creation:

Generative Art and Content Creation:

AI can generate original visual art, illustrations, and designs, pushing the boundaries of creativity and enabling artists to explore new styles and concepts. It can also provide writers with a way to illustrate their work without having to engage an artist.

Image Synthesis and Augmentation:

AI can create realistic images from textual descriptions or sketches, making it useful in design, architecture, and prototyping where visualizing concepts is essential.

Photorealistic Rendering:

AI-powered rendering techniques can generate photorealistic images for architectural visualization, product design, and entertainment, reducing the need for physical prototypes.

Content Generation for Games and Virtual Worlds:

AI can generate environments, characters, and objects for video games and virtual reality experiences, enhancing the realism and diversity of virtual worlds.

Style Transfer and Artistic Filters:

AI can apply artistic styles to photographs and videos, enabling users to create artwork inspired by famous artists or unique visual aesthetics.

Data Augmentation:

AI can generate synthetic data for training machine learning models, helping to overcome data scarcity and improve model performance in tasks like computer vision.

Medical Imaging:

AI can generate 3D reconstructions and visualizations from medical imaging data, aiding in diagnosis, treatment planning, and medical research.

Facial Reenactment and Animation:

AI can map facial expressions and movements onto digital avatars or characters, enhancing the realism of animations and video game characters.

Deepfakes and Special Effects:

While controversial, AI-powered deepfake technology can create convincing visual effects for movies, allowing actors to appear younger or older, or even replacing them with digital counterparts.

Image Restoration and Enhancement:

AI can restore old or damaged photographs, enhance image quality, and remove unwanted artifacts or objects from pictures.

Style-Based Editing:

AI models like GANs enable users to edit images in a style-consistent manner, such as changing the weather in a photo or converting daytime scenes to nighttime.

Artistic Assistance:

Artists and designers can use AI as a creative tool, getting inspiration from AI-generated concepts or using it to assist in the creative process.

Customization and Personalization:

AI can create personalized visual content, such as tailored advertisements, product recommendations, or virtual fashion try-ons.

Forensic Analysis:

AI can assist forensic experts in image analysis, including facial recognition, object detection, and crime scene reconstruction.

Space Exploration and Astronomy:

AI can enhance the quality of astronomical images, detect celestial objects, and assist in analyzing data from space missions.

The power of AI in image creation is continually expanding, driven by advances in deep learning, computer vision, and generative models like GANs. However, it also raises ethical concerns related to the potential for misuse, such as deepfakes, privacy implications and potential for plagiarism. Another concern is that AI will replace the work of many artists, doing irreversible harm to artists’ ability to earn a living. This, however, is part of the age-old debate and discussion about “creative destruction,” which is when innovation, technology and progress displaces people trained on the old ways. The automobile displaced a need, for example, to breed as many horses as we did prior to Henry Ford’s production line. Responsible development and use of AI in image creation are essential to harness its potential for positive impact while addressing these challenges.


Video and Speech Generation

Generative AI can handle video and speech generation through specialized models and techniques. These models are designed to generate content that mimics the patterns and structures found in video and speech data. Here's how generative AI approaches these tasks:

1. Video Generation:

Variational Autoencoders (VAEs): VAEs are a type of generative model that can be used for video generation. They learn to encode and decode video frames, allowing them to generate new frames that follow the learned patterns.

  • Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs) and LSTMs: These sequential models can be used for generating videos frame by frame. By conditioning on previous frames, they can predict the next frame in a video sequence.
  • Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs): GANs can generate video frames by training a generator to create realistic frames and a discriminator to distinguish real from generated frames. Over time, the generator becomes proficient at creating realistic video content.
  • Transformer-based models: Transformers, like GPT-3, have also been adapted for video generation. They can generate video captions or even generate video frames by conditioning on text descriptions.

2. Speech Generation:

  • Text-to-Speech (TTS) Models: TTS models are designed to convert text input into natural-sounding speech. They typically consist of two components: a text encoder and a speech synthesizer. Models like Tacotron, WaveNet, and more recently, models like GPT-3, have been used for TTS.
  • Speech Synthesis Markup Language (SSML): SSML is often used alongside TTS models to control the prosody, pitch, and other aspects of synthesized speech.
  • Voice Cloning: Some AI systems can clone specific voices, allowing you to generate speech in a particular person's voice. These models require a lot of training data from the target speaker. One application of this is a service that has created voice clones of famous athletes, allowing the public  to call in to a program and have a conversation with, for example, Babe Ruth or Muhammed Ali.
  • Emotional TTS: Some TTS models are designed to convey emotions in the generated speech, allowing for more expressive text-to-speech synthesis.

In both video and speech generation, generative AI models require substantial training on large datasets to learn the underlying patterns and nuances of the target domain. Additionally, they often require fine-tuning and conditioning on specific inputs or contexts to generate content that is coherent, realistic, and aligned with the desired style or theme.