What is Generative AI? The Ultimate Guide

Komal Ahuja
June 30, 2023
min read
January 22, 2024
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Discover the potential of Generative AI in our ultimate guide. Explore its applications, examples, and its impact on business and the future of work.
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Generative AI is creating a huge buzz, making it a powerful technology to use in your business.

Generative AI (or Generative Artificial Intelligence) is an AI system that uses machine learning to create unique content, such as images, audio, videos, and much more.

Businesses are leveraging AI to unlock increased innovation, creativity and problem-solving. Gartner declared generative AI as one of the most rapidly evolving technologies in their 2022 Emerging Technologies and Trends Impact Radar report. 

This blog will shed light on generative AI, how it works and its applications. Plus, we’ll dive into various AI tools and what the future holds for generative AI technology. 

This article is one chapter in our our Generative AI User Guide. Check out the rest of the chapters below:

Chapter 1: What is Generative AI?
Chapter 2: AI Applications
• Chapter 3: Best Generative AI Tools
• Chapter 4: What are the Benefits of AI?
• Chapter 5: Best AI Writing Software
• Chapter 6: Winning Examples of AI Used Today
• Chapter 7: Best AI Tools for Productivity
• Chapter 8: How AI is Used in Business
• Chapter 9: AI Tools for Businesses
• Chapter 10: No Code? No Problem. Here are the Top No-Code AI Tools
• Chapter 11: How IT Teams Use AI
• Chapter 12: Best AI Tools for Developers
• Chapter 13: AI and the Future of Work

TL;DR: What is generative AI?

  • Generative AI uses machine learning to create unique content.
  • Generative AI works on neural networks and uses two types of AI frameworks.
  • It can be used to generate human-like text, produce realistic images, create music and videos, improve knowledge management, and enhance customer experience.
  • Top generative AI tools include Scribe, ChatGPT, Deep Dream Generator, GauGAN and Github Copilot.

What is generative AI? 

Generative AI is trained to identify patterns in large data sets and use that knowledge to combine information from existing sources and generate new output based on deeper understanding. 

💡What Is AI? Understanding Artificial Intelligence & Its Applications

How does generative AI work? 

Generative AI uses machine learning algorithms that have been trained on large amounts of data to make new data based on patterns they have learned.

Generative AI works on neural networks—a type of computer system that learns to identify patterns by feeding on large data sets of content (text, image, audio, or video clips). AI algorithms then generate the new content in response to the prompt.

For instance, a generative AI system could be given lots of pictures of human faces. By looking at the patterns in the facial features, outlines, colors, etc. in all of those pictures, the AI can then create new facial images that look genuine and realistic but have never been seen before.

Neural networks mainly use two types of AI frameworks to perform efficiently:

  • Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs) are great for image-to-image translation and creating realistic images from text prompts and simple sketches. 
  • Transformer-based models are designed to understand images or languages and classify tasks. The most widely known model is GPT-3.

The important thing is to give the AI lots of examples (the "training data") so it can understand the patterns and generate new examples that are similar in quantity and quality.

What are some examples of generative AI?

Let's dive a little deeper into two key examples of generative AI:

1. Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs)

GANs can generate synthetic images, videos, speech, and text. GANs have two separate neural networks—a generator network that creates synthetic data, and a discriminator network that attempts to tell real data from the synthetic data. This competition forces the generator to create more realistic data.

One example includes DeepFakes which can create synthetic images of people, and text generation models that can write short stories, news articles, or poetry.

2. Variational autoencoders (VAEs)

VAEs are another type of generative model that can learn the hidden structure of data and use it to make new samples. For instance, VAEs have been used to generate synthetic handwritten digits, faces, house layouts, and molecules.

How is generative AI different from other types of AI? 

Traditional AI models rely on rules and patterns to make data-driven decisions.

Traditional AI models require constant human intervention. They are designed to respond to specific inputs based on existing information. 

Generative AI models analyze massive amounts of data to produce original content, chat responses, artworks, or video clips based on their understanding. 

Generative AI has zero human intervention. It uses deep neural networks to mimic human behavior and generate new content based on training data.

What are the benefits of generative AI?

Here are a few key benefits of generative AI:

1. Increased automation and efficiency

Generative algorithms can create lots of data, text, images, videos, and other content—saving humans lots of work. For instance, generative AI can generate product descriptions or thousands of pictures based on user input.

2. Personalization at scale

Generative systems can create personalized and customized data for each user based on their profiles, behaviors, and preferences. This could include personalized product recommendations, tailored outreach emails or customized media content for each user.

3. Improve human creativity

Generative AI can boost and enhance human creativity. It provides creative ideas and examples that people can use. This type of human-AI collaboration makes the creative process quicker and helps people overcome creative obstacles.

4. Cost savings

Generative AI can save businesses a lot of money by automating data analysis and content creation. This is especially true for data, content, and media that humans normally take a lot of time and effort to create.

💡Benefits of AI: How Companies are Transforming Operations

How to use generative AI

AI has the ability to revolutionize the way companies interact with customers, create products and make data-driven decisions. So, let’s look at some of its uses.

1. Generate human-like text

Generative AI applications like ChatGPT, Jasper AI, and Google Bard have revolutionized content generation. These AI tools can help you work faster and create polished content, including blog posts, email copies, social media captions, and product descriptions.

Using Natural Language Processing (NLP), these tools read and understand the text prompt, pull information from various sources, and produce unique responses for users that mimic human-written language. 

AI text-generation apps can also help with:

  • Translating text into different languages.
  • Completing unfinished text.
  • Rephrasing content.
  • Responding to customer inquiries.
  • Creating educational materials.
  • Writing fictional stories.
  • And so much more. 

The Top 7 Best AI Software to Fast Track Your Team’s Growth in 2023

2. Produce realistic images 

Generative AI can create images from texts in seconds. Whether you’re a graphic designer or just a novice user, AI image generators can turn your ideas into a desired image.  

Tools like Midjourney Dall-E-2, Photosonic, and DeepAI can create images of animals, landscapes, characters, real-life people, objects and anything else you can think of. These visuals can be used for media, design, marketing, education, and more. 

3. Create music

Generative AI works with large data sets of audio tracks to identify patterns in different music genres. These can produce original musical sequences and transform a song from one genre to another, for example, jazz into rock, and vice versa. 

Applications like Musico, Soundful, and Murf.ai can generate different types of music, from tunes for advertisements to full lyrical songs for movies. 

4. Generate videos 

Producing a quality video is time-consuming and requires a learning curve. Generative AI makes it easier to create videos without editing knowledge. 

AI video generators, such as Synthesia, DeepbrainAI and Pictory use text prompts (scripts or blog posts), images and soundtracks to generate original short clips or full-length movies.

AI video generators can apply effects to your video, such as captions, animations, and transitions.

VEED is an online video editor with a clean audio feature that enables you to clean the background noise in your video with AI. 

5. Knowledge management 

Companies rely on internal knowledge management to keep employees up-to-date with the latest product offerings and data. Unorganized information not only wastes employees’ time but also disrupts productivity.


This is where generative AI knowledge base management can be leveraged to create, analyze, and organize information like never before. It can:

  • Help employees find answers to questions about company policies, procedures and products. 
  • Assist employees in identifying the right subject matter experts within the company. 
  • Summarize lengthy documents into concise paragraphs and create new content (articles, manuals, or reports) based on specific keywords and prompts.
  • Develop personalized learning paths tailored to each employee’s skills. 

📌 AI Knowledge Bases: Why Your Business Needs One

6. Customer experience 

Generative AI is having a huge impact on customer experience.

With Generative AI, companies can level up their customer support and:

  • Use ChatGPT-powered chatbots to resolve customer queries instantly.
  • Understand customers accurately and create products and services aligned with their interests. 
  • Create personalized, engaging and relevant content. 
  • Reduce the time customers take to search through documents or look for answers in FAQs. 
  • Generate hyper-personalized, interactive customer surveys to enhance data collection and gather customer feedback. 

Shopify’s free messaging tool Shopify Inbox—is an excellent example of a ChatGPT-powered chatbot. It lets you interact with customers in real time and assist them with making purchases.  

📌 How to Enhance the Customer Experience with AI (2023)

Generative AI applications across different industries 

As generative AI grows, industries have already started adoption. Let’s see how different sectors are harnessing its power.  

1. Education 

Personalization is one of the most significant benefits of generative AI. The education industry is using it to:

  • Create personalized learning content based on each student’s performance, strengths and weaknesses. 
  • Encourage activities, games and simulations for an interactive learning experience. 
  • Adopt generative AI-assisted training evaluations to get deep insights into students' learning patterns, preferences and progress. 
  • Generate individualized, real-time feedback to identify areas where students need extra help. 

🎓 AI in Education: How to Revolutionize Learning

2. Business operations

Here are some ways businesses are embracing generative AI to improve productivity and save time:

  • Conducting research, scrutinizing contracts and creating legal documents. 
  • Automating repetitive HR tasks and creating personalized employee career development programs. 
  • Evaluating customer data and developing product designs based on customer needs and expectations. 
  • Detecting and preventing fraudulent activities, such as payment fraud and email phishing scams.

3. Sales 

AI-fueled tools can create sales enablement material, like sales playbooks, brochures and case studies.

If your sales reps are tired of writing emails or SMS in bulk, these apps can generate personalized email responses by analyzing customer interactions and preferences. 

AI can also analyze large amounts of customer data to identify prospects likely to be more interested in your products or services. 

And it can also generate personalized product recommendations based on purchase history and browsing behavior.

🎓 Driving Innovation: Exploring AI Applications

5 disruptive generative AI tools

Let’s look at the top 5 generative AI tools worth trying in 2023. 

1. Scribe

Scribe is a powerful step-by-step guide tool that can easily break down complex processes into clear, concise steps to improve comprehension.

AI, makes this process even easier for you by allowing you to automatically create guides using a Chrome extension and create process documents in seconds.


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♬ original sound - Celia | Ai & Productivity
‎Once your guides are ready, you can easily edit them by adding custom branding, texts, images, and annotations. The tool also combines photos, videos, and other media to create more detailed and interactive documentation.

You can leverage the collaboration features to invite others to contribute to your guide with comments and revision tracking, enabling you to create a practical guide quickly while minimizing edits.  

2. ChatGPT

(Source: ChatGPT)

ChatGPT, created by OpenAI, is one of the popular dialogue-based AI tools that can provide straightforward answers to almost any question—simple or complex. It can perform numerous natural language processing tasks including:

  • Translating content.
  • Summarizing content.
  • Writing code.
  • Composing emails.
  • Creating cover letters. 

3. Deep Dream Generator 

Developed by Google, Deep Dream is a leading AI text-to-image or image-to-image generator that creates surreal, dream-like artwork. Its deep neural network is trained on images to identify and enhance common patterns. 

If you input a text prompt or a picture of a landscape, DeepDream will output a version of the image that might look silly, artistic or hallucinogenic. The output depends on the input data and how the tool interprets the data it's trained on. 

4. GauGAN

Channel your imagination into detailed and photorealistic artwork with GauGAN. An AI image-generation tool developed by Nvidia Research, it combines text prompts and sketches for creating and customizing high-quality, realistic images. 

5. Github Copilot 

GitHub Copilot home page AI pair programmer
(Source: GitHub Copilot)
GitHub’s Copilot is an AI pair programming tool designed to help developers code more quickly and efficiently. 

Copilot uses Open AI Codex to interpret the lines of code you're working on and automatically suggest code prompts or entire functions. It offers suggestions in multiple programming languages like Python, C++, JavaScript, Ruby, and more.

It also adjusts to your coding style by analyzing your edits—making it one of the most powerful AI tools for developers. 

AI in IT: Revolutionize Your Operations

Generative AI is here to stay!

While generative AI won’t replace humans anytime soon, generative AI tools can:

  • Reduce cost, time and effort.
  • Improve productivity and collaboration.
  • Enable professionals to focus on more creative problems. 

With tools like Scribe, you can document any process instantly and share it with your team, increasing efficiency and productivity. Try Scribe today!

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Scribe automatically generates how-to guides and serves them to your team when they need them most. Save time, stay focused, help others.