A comprehensive guide to generative AI 2024

A comprehensive guide to generative AI 2024
A comprehensive guide to generative AI 2024

The world has seen many big changes because of new ideas. There’s one rule that always stays true: change happens. Throughout history, there have been times when big new ideas completely changed how things were done.

Take farming, for example. It turned us from people who hunted and gathered food into people who planted crops and settled down. Lots of great civilizations started because of farming near rivers. Or think about silicone, which changed medicine and space science, or the steam engine, which made it possible to make lots of things quickly.

Right now, we’re in another big time of change, mostly because of artificial intelligence and computers. This guide is here to help you understand more about how computers can be creative, what they could do in the future, and how you can use them to do well in business.

1. What is generative artificial intelligence?

Generative AI is an advanced technology capable of generating content in the form of text, speech, vision, and even synthetic data. It leverages deep learning models and large language models to accomplish the task of creating novel content.

“Its (Generative AI’s) performance will compete with the top 25 percent of people, completing any and all tasks before 2040 – McKinsey”

Generative AI performance will compete with the top 25% to complete all tasks by 2040 – McKinsey

Generative AI has already caused a stir in the world, with the AI’s own Michael Jordan scoring back-to-back dunks. It’s definitely more than just having contextual conversations, but also includes customized suggestions, intuitive solutions, and more. Its applications are widespread across industries from high technology to agriculture and consumer goods.

It should be a no-brainer when leading research firms around the world predict that generative AI has much untapped potential to augment human capabilities.

  • Gartner  places generative AI at the highest expected position in the 2023 Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies.
  • Deloitte  estimates that the generative AI market will reach $200B by 2032. This represents about 20% of total AI spending, up from about 5% currently.

2. The history of generative artificial intelligence

The term generative AI may be a recent trend, but the history behind it goes back at least 70 years, when humanity really began to doubt machines’ ability to think and process like humans. Let’s look back for a moment to the formative years of the field of artificial intelligence.

From the beginnings of text analysis in the 1950s to the emergence of powerful language models such as GPT (Generative Pretrained Transformer), each stage marked a major leap in our quest to create machines that can understand and generate human language. .

1950s: Text Analysis—The Dawn of Artificial Intelligence

From the 1950s to the early 1960s, the field of artificial intelligence (AI) was still in its infancy. Researchers are exploring the possibility of creating machines capable of simulating human intelligence. One of the earliest efforts in this direction was text analysis. This era saw the development of basic computer programs for processing and analyzing textual data.

Early text analysis systems focused mainly on simple tasks such as information retrieval and keyword extraction. The idea is to enable computers to understand and manipulate text in a manner similar to human understanding. While these efforts were groundbreaking for their time, their capabilities were limited and lacked the level of sophistication we associate with artificial intelligence today.

1960s: Rule-based systems and knowledge bases

In the second half of the 1960s and throughout the 1970s, artificial intelligence research shifted toward rule-based systems and knowledge bases. Researchers attempt to encode human knowledge and expertise into computer programs using explicit rules and logical reasoning. This approach has led to the development of expert systems that are able to solve specific problems by following predefined rules.

Expert systems marked an important step forward in artificial intelligence because they demonstrated that computers could perform tasks that required human expertise. However, they are limited by the need for extensive manual rule writing and limited adaptability to new domains.

1980s: Natural language processing emerges

The 1980s and 1990s saw the emergence of natural language processing (NLP), a key field in artificial intelligence that aimed to enable machines to understand and generate human language. Researchers are beginning to develop more advanced techniques to parse and analyze text, paving the way for applications such as machine translation, speech recognition, and sentiment analysis.

NLP systems are still largely rule-based, relying on grammatical and syntactic rules. These systems are capable of handling more complex language tasks than early text analysis, but they are still far from achieving human-level language understanding.

The 2000s: The Machine Learning and Big Data Revolution

The turn of the century marked a major shift in artificial intelligence research with the rise of machine learning and the availability of vast amounts of digital data. Machine learning algorithms, especially neural networks, have proven to be very effective in solving a variety of artificial intelligence tasks, including those related to text and language.

This era gave birth to the concept of “big data” and the development of large-scale data analysis. With the emergence of technologies such as deep learning and the availability of massive data sets, AI models are increasingly able to understand and generate human language.

The 2020s: Breakthroughs in GPT-3 and generative AI

In the 2020s, the world witnessed GPT-3 (Generative Pre-Training Transformer3), a revolutionary artificial intelligence model that marked an important milestone in the fields of artificial intelligence and natural language processing. GPT-3 is pre-trained on large amounts of text data to generate highly coherent and contextual text.

The development of GPT continues, with the launch of GPT 3.5 running ChatGPT and the latest version of GPT 4.

3. Uncovering GenAI – What is LLM?

No discussion of generative artificial intelligence would be complete without understanding large-scale language models, known simply as LLMs. Large language models are trained on large unlabeled datasets with a large number of parameters. GPT-3 was trained on over 175 billion parameters!

Depending on your needs, unlabeled datasets can be open source (like Wikipedia pages) or private (like internal training documents). The entire power of LLM centers around the probability distribution of words or sequences of words that are combined to form sentences or phrases.

LLM predicts the next possible word in a sentence.

LLM predicts the next possible word in a sentence.

The prediction of the next possible word is based on a specific “validity”, and that validity is not necessarily identified by grammatical rules. Rather, it is determined by factors in how humans organize sentences in language. Learning, or to some extent imitating, how humans organize language is the result of language training on large data sets.

Let’s demonstrate this with an example.

“Modern artificial intelligence has become the latest weapon in the arsenal of businesses.”

If an AI generated the above sentence, it would associate a probability score with each word and its alternatives. The score is calculated based on the probability that a human would create a sentence with these specific sets of words in the exact order.

“Modern artificial intelligence has already become the latest…”

word Probability

From the list of probability scores, LLM can learn that the word “weapon” has been used frequently by humans compared to the other three words. In this hypothetical example, we present only four possible alternatives. But in reality, the word list will be longer and have more variables.

People must understand that artificial intelligence is in a stage of continuous learning. It will drill down and score occurrences of similar letters. For example, after “w”, “e” is the most repeated letter. All of this is achieved through advanced machine learning algorithms.

Some well-known LLMs include:

  • Open AI’s GPT 3, 3.5, and 4 
  • Google’s LaMDA and PaLM
  • Hugging Face’s BLOOM
  • Meta’s LLaMA
  • NVidia’s NeMO LLM

In this list, Meta’s LLaMA is an open source LLM that developers around the world can leverage to create customizable private models.

LLM (Language Modeling) and generative AI are related concepts, but they have clear differences in focus, capabilities, and applications.

Large Language Model (LLM) Generative Artificial Intelligence (GenAI) 
build target LLM mainly focuses on understanding and generating human language. They are designed to process and analyze text data and are well suited for natural language processing (NLP) tasks.Generative AI is a broader concept that encompasses models and systems designed to generate data, which can include text, images, music or other forms of content. It is not limited to language generation.
training dataLLM is trained on large text data sets from the Internet or specific sources. They learn language patterns, syntax, context and semantics from this training data.Generative AI models can be trained on different types of data, depending on their intended application. They learn to create new content that is similar to existing data patterns.
Application scenariosLLM is commonly used for tasks such as language translation, text summarization, sentiment analysis, chatbots, and text completion. They are good at processing and generating textual contentGenerative AI is versatile and has applications beyond text. It can generate images, music, art, and even synthetic data. It is used for creative content generation, data augmentation and simulation tasks.
Specific examplesGPT-3 is a prominent example of LLM. It can generate coherent and contextual text based on the input it receives, making it suitable for a variety of NLP tasks. Generative adversarial networks (GAN) are a classic example of generative artificial intelligence. GANs are used to create synthetic images, videos, and other data by learning from real-world examples. Their main focus is not on language but on generating various types of content.

Now that we’ve discussed GANs, there’s bound to be someone who wants to know more about other types of generative AI models. Let’s take a closer look at the key generative AI models in use today.

4. Understand generative AI models and their types

Generative AI models are a subset of artificial intelligence (AI) models that aim to generate new data that is similar to or follows patterns in existing data. Generative AI models are different from other AI models that focus on classification, prediction, or reinforcement learning.

Here are some key characteristics and types of generative AI models.

  • Data generation: Generative AI models have the ability to create new content that mimics patterns or styles observed in training data. This content can take many forms, including text, images, music, etc.
  • Unsupervised learning: Many generative models employ unsupervised learning techniques, where the model learns patterns and structures in the data without explicit labels or goals. This allows them to generate data without requiring specific examples of what should be generated.
  • Variability: Generative models are often characterized by their ability to produce different outputs. For example, they can generate different styles of art, rephrase the same passage of text in different ways, or multiple versions of an image.

Now, let’s explore some common types of generative AI models.

  • Generative Adversarial Network (GAN): GAN consists of two competing neural networks (generator and discriminator). Generator creates data, while discriminator evaluates the authenticity of that data. This adversarial process results in the generator improving its ability to create realistic data. GANs have been widely used in image generation, style transfer, and content creation.
  • Variational Autoencoder (VAE): VAE is a generative model based on probabilistic modeling principles. Their goal is to understand the underlying probability distribution of the data. VAE is commonly used for image generation, data compression, and image reconstruction.
  • Recurrent Neural Network (RNN): RNN is a neural network architecture specifically designed for sequential data such as text and time series data. They are used for text generation, machine translation, and speech recognition. However, traditional RNNs have limitations in capturing long-term dependencies.
  • Long Short-Term Memory (LSTM) Network: LSTM is a special type of RNN that can capture long-range dependencies in sequential data. They have proven to be very effective in natural language processing tasks, including language modeling, text generation and sentiment analysis.
  • Generative Pre-trained Transformer (GPT): The GPT model is the latest breakthrough in the field of generative artificial intelligence. These models leverage the Transformer architecture and large-scale pre-training on text data to generate coherent and contextual text. They specialize in a variety of natural language understanding and generation tasks, including chatbots, content generation, translation, and more.

5. What are the main applications of generative artificial intelligence?

The impact of generative AI is limitless, revolutionizing every industry, function, and role. From enhancing content creation to enhancing personalized education, healthcare, customer service and marketing, the applications for generative AI are limitless.

We’ve divided it into two different clusters where you can explore applications of generative AI by industry and function.

Generative AI industry applications

Marketing, Advertising and Entertainment Industry

  • Content creation: Generative artificial intelligence drives content creation in the form of art, music, literature, etc. Artists and musicians are using artificial intelligence to create new works and explore innovative creative directions.
  • Video Game Development: AI-powered generative systems create game environments, characters and even dialogue, reducing the time and resources required for game development.
  • Scriptwriting: Screenwriters and content creators leverage generative AI to assist in scriptwriting by generating dialogue, plot, and character interactions.

education field

  • Personalized learning: Generative AI adapts educational content to the needs of individual students by generating tailored assignments, tests, and learning materials, promoting a personalized learning experience.
  • Knowledge base: Generative AI can be used to create an exhaustive knowledge base that students can use to acquire momentary information in a conversational manner.
  • Virtual labs: Generative AI powers virtual labs that simulate experiments and scenarios for students studying science, engineering and other practical disciplines.

healthcare industry

  • Medical image generation: Generative AI is used to generate synthetic medical images for training machine learning models, improving diagnostic accuracy, and simulating rare medical conditions for educational purposes.
  • Drug Discovery: Pharmaceutical companies use generative AI to discover new drug compounds by generating molecular structures, thereby accelerating the drug development process.
  • Personalized Medicine: AI-driven generative models analyze patient data to generate personalized treatment plans, taking into account genetic factors, medical history, and current health status.


  • Product design: Generative design uses artificial intelligence algorithms to generate optimized product designs, taking into account factors such as materials, weight, and structural integrity, streamlining the product development process.
  • Quality Control: Generative AI models generate synthetic data for quality control testing, ensuring manufacturing processes meet quality standards.
  • Supply chain optimization: AI-generated demand forecasts and supply chain scenarios help manufacturers make informed decisions about production and distribution.

Software and Technology Industry

  • Code Generation: Generative AI can help developers by generating code snippets and templates for common programming tasks, thus speeding up the development process.
  • Error detection: AI-driven tools can generate comprehensive test cases and scenarios to help identify and fix software errors more effectively.
  • IT security: Generative AI models can simulate cyber attack scenarios to help IT departments identify vulnerabilities and enhance cyber security measures.

Generative AI functional applications

customer service

  • Chatbots and Virtual Assistants: Generative AI powers intelligent chatbots and virtual assistants that can handle customer queries, provide information, and resolve issues 24/7.
  • Sentiment Analysis: AI-generated sentiment analysis reports help customer service teams understand customer sentiment and feedback, allowing for more empathetic and effective responses.
  • Automated ticket routing: Generative AI algorithms help route customer inquiries to the correct department or agent, optimizing response times and issue resolution.


  • Content generation: Generative AI helps marketers generate high-quality and engaging content, including blog posts, social media updates, and ad copy.
  • Personalization: AI algorithms use customer data to generate personalized marketing campaigns, tailoring content and recommendations to individual customers.
  • A/B testing: Generative AI can come up with A/B testing ideas to help marketers refine their strategies by predicting which changes will produce the best results.

human Resources

  • Automated Resume Screening: Generative AI speeds up the screening process by categorizing resumes based on different parameters like qualifications, education, skills, etc.
  • Personalized Learning Paths: AI customizes employee development plans by generating customized training recommendations, automated assessments, and more.
  • Virtual HR Assistant: Chatbots powered by generative AI can share policy information with employees, seamlessly train new hires, answer organizational questions, and more.


  • Lead generation and scoring: Generative AI analyzes customer profiles to identify potential leads and generate target lists for sales teams by grouping them into priorities.
  • Sales content: AI assists in the creation of sales materials such as promotional materials, sales emails, and product demos to enhance the sales process.
  • Price optimization: Generative AI models can recommend pricing strategies and generate quotes based on market dynamics and customer data.

Operations and Procurement

  • Maintenance planning: Generative AI helps predict equipment maintenance needs, optimize maintenance plans and reduce downtime.
  • Supplier selection: Generative AI analyzes supplier data and market trends, recommends suitable suppliers, and helps procurement departments make informed decisions.
  • Supplier Negotiation: Generative AI provides negotiation strategies to assist procurement professionals in obtaining favorable terms and prices.

6. Understand  the limitations of generative AI

“(Generative) AI is like a glorified tape-recorder. It takes snippets of what’s on the web created by a human, splices them together and passes it off as if it created these things. And people are saying, ‘Oh my God, it’s a human, it’s humanlike.’” – Michio Kaku, Renowned Theoretical Physicist and Futurist

“(Generative) AI is like a fancy tape recorder. It takes snippets of content created by humans on the web, splices them together, and delivers it as if it created those things. People say , ‘Oh my gosh, this is a human, it’s like a human being.'” – Michio Kaku, a famous theoretical physicist and futurist.

One of the biggest questions on everyone’s mind is “Will ChatGPT take over my job?”. To be sure, these fears are unfounded because generative AI is not yet sentient.

Sentient devices remain a dream for the future. Amid the noise, it’s critical to distinguish the hype from the reality of this breakthrough technology. Let’s understand the limitations of generative AI from a real-world perspective.

Understand the background

Generative AI struggles to grasp context, resulting in occasional meaningless or irrelevant responses in natural language processing tasks.

true creativity

While generative AI can imitate creative styles, it lacks true creativity, imagination, and emotional depth. It relies on patterns and data rather than true inspiration.


Generative AI is prone to a condition called hallucination. AI hallucinations generate false content based on their own understanding of a scene or context.

Prejudice and fairness

Generative AI models may inadvertently perpetuate biases present in the training data, resulting in biased outputs that reflect social biases.

7. The future of generative AI

The story of generative AI is far from over, it continues to learn and mature. The future of generative AI is promising, reshaping the way we interact with technology and solve complex problems. Striking a balance between realizing their potential and meeting their challenges is crucial. We believe that generative artificial intelligence will impact the following three areas in the future.

  • Create content quickly and frequently: While generative AI has limitations in enabling true creativity, it can create multiple forms of content across a wide range of topics quickly and at scale. At the same time, this can be leveraged across industries, functions and roles to drive organizational goals.
  • Natural and intuitive conversations: Virtual assistants and chatbots will become more capable of handling complex queries, delivering personalized recommendations, and conducting emotionally intelligent conversations. They will play important roles in customer service, healthcare and education.
  • Personalization at scale: Generative AI will enable hyper-personalization across industries from marketing to healthcare. Artificial intelligence systems will analyze large amounts of data to provide tailored experiences and recommendations. Personalized campaign, content and product recommendations will become the norm to increase user satisfaction and engagement.

The future is definitely generational. The question is are you ready to embrace the future?


  • Mohamed BEN HASSINE

    Mohamed BEN HASSINE is a Hands-On Cloud Solution Architect based out of France. he has been working on Java, Web , API and Cloud technologies for over 12 years and still going strong for learning new things. Actually , he plays the role of Cloud / Application Architect in Paris ,while he is designing cloud native solutions and APIs ( REST , gRPC). using cutting edge technologies ( GCP / Kubernetes / APIGEE / Java / Python )

    View all posts
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