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Artificial Intelligence (AI)...

going beyond 'knowledge' ....


AI > What is Generative AI? (Good or Bad Tool)

Generative AI stands at the forefront of today's artificial intelligence landscape, driving the latest innovations in technology. It serves as the underlying force behind popular chatbots like ChatGPT, Ernie, LLaMA, Claude, and Command, as well as groundbreaking image generators such as DALL-E 2, Stable Diffusion, Adobe Firefly, and Midjourney. At its core, generative AI represents a branch of artificial intelligence dedicated to empowering machines with the ability to discern patterns from extensive datasets, subsequently leveraging this knowledge to autonomously create fresh content. While relatively nascent, the realm of generative AI already boasts numerous examples of models proficient in generating text, images, videos, and audio.

Generative adversarial networks, ... diffusion models, ... large language models, ... transformer architectures

The emergence of "foundation models" marks a significant milestone in this field, with these models having undergone extensive training on vast datasets to exhibit competence across a diverse array of tasks. For instance, a sizable language model demonstrates the capacity to produce essays, computer code, recipes, protein structures, jokes, medical diagnostic advice, and much more. However, it's crucial to acknowledge the potential risks inherent in such capabilities, as these models theoretically possess the ability to generate instructions for constructing explosives or developing bioweapons. Safeguards are purportedly in place to mitigate the misuse of generative AI for such nefarious purposes, albeit the efficacy of these measures remains a subject of ongoing scrutiny.

What distinguishes AI, Machine Learning, and Generative AI?

Artificial intelligence (AI) encompasses a broad spectrum of computational methodologies aimed at emulating human intelligence. Machine learning (ML) constitutes a subset of AI, focusing on algorithms that facilitate systems in learning from data and enhancing their performance. Predating the advent of generative AI, most ML models derived insights from datasets to execute tasks like classification or prediction. Generative AI represents a specialized form of ML, involving models engineered to generate novel content, delving into the realm of creativity.

Which architectures underpin Generative AI models?

Generative models are constructed utilizing various neural network architectures, delineating the design and arrangement governing the model's organization and information flow. Among the most prominent architectures are Variational Autoencoders (VAEs), Generative Adversarial Networks (GANs), and Transformers. The transformer architecture, introduced in a seminal 2017 paper by Google, serves as the backbone of contemporary large language models. Nevertheless, while adept at empowering language models, the transformer architecture is less suited for other categories of generative AI, such as image and audio generation.

Autoencoders employ an encoder-decoder framework to acquire efficient representations of data. The encoder condenses input data into a lower-dimensional space called the latent (or embedding) space, preserving crucial data facets. Subsequently, a decoder reconstructs the original data from this compressed representation. Once trained, autoencoders can generate appropriate outputs for novel inputs. These models are prevalent in image-generation tools and have applications in drug discovery for generating molecules with desired properties.

GANs employ a unique training dynamic featuring a generator and a discriminator in adversarial roles. The generator endeavors to produce realistic data, while the discriminator aims to differentiate between generated and authentic outputs. As the discriminator identifies generated outputs, the generator refines its outputs accordingly, leveraging feedback to enhance quality. This adversarial interplay refines both components, facilitating the generation of increasingly authentic content. While notorious for deepfakes, GANs find utility in benign image generation and various other applications.

The transformer stands out as a premier generative AI architecture, particularly revered for its prevalence in large language models (LLMs). Its potency stems from the attention mechanism, allowing the model to prioritize different input sequence segments during predictions. In language models, transformers forecast subsequent words in input sentences. Unlike prior models, transformers process sequence elements in parallel, boosting training speed and efficiency. By training on vast text datasets, transformers have birthed today's remarkable chatbots.

How do Large Language Models function?

Large Language Models (LLMs) based on transformers undergo training by exposing them to extensive text datasets. The attention mechanism becomes instrumental as the model analyzes sentences, seeking out recurring patterns. Processing entire sentences simultaneously, it gradually discerns common word associations and identifies key elements crucial to sentence meaning. This comprehension evolves through predicting subsequent words in sentences and contrasting these predictions with actual outcomes, thereby refining its understanding. Errors encountered during this process serve as feedback signals, prompting the model to recalibrate the weights assigned to different words before iteratively improving its predictions.

In more technical terms, the training process involves segmenting the text into tokens, which represent individual words or word fragments. As the model traverses the training data, it elucidates the relationships between tokens, generating numerical vectors for each one. These vectors encapsulate diverse aspects of the word, such as its semantics, contextual connections, and frequency of occurrence. Words sharing similarities, like "elegant" and "fancy," exhibit comparable vectors and spatial proximity in the vector space. Termed word embeddings, these vectors contribute to the parameters of the LLM, which encompass the weights associated with all word embeddings and the attention mechanism. Notably, GPT-4, hailed as the current apex by OpenAI, purportedly boasts over 1 trillion parameters.

Given ample data and training duration, LLMs gradually grasp the intricacies of language. While much of the training revolves around scrutinizing text on a sentence-by-sentence basis, the attention mechanism extends its purview to capture word relationships across lengthy text sequences spanning multiple paragraphs. Even after training, the attention mechanism remains pivotal. When tasked with generating text in response to prompts, the model leverages its predictive capabilities to determine subsequent words. Particularly in generating lengthy text pieces, it forecasts the next word within the context of the entire preceding text, enhancing coherence and continuity in its compositions.

Deciphering LLM Hallucinations

The notion of LLMs "hallucinating" pertains to their knack for fabricating content with striking persuasiveness. At times, these models produce text that aligns with context, adheres to grammatical norms, yet deviates into falsehoods or absurdity. This tendency stems from their training on extensive internet-derived data, a portion of which may lack factual accuracy. Operating on the premise of predicting the next word in a sequence based on past observations, LLMs might generate plausible-sounding yet factually unfounded text.

can AI and generative models - hallucinate and create impossible
Generative models hallucinate and dream the impossible. Futurama (199). Quote: Fry: Bender, what is it? Bender: Whoa, what an awful dream. Ones and zeros everywhere. And I thought I saw a two. Fry: It was just a dream, Bender. There's no such thing as two.

Controversies Surrounding Generative AI

Generative AI's contentious nature hinges on the origins of its training data. Many AI firms training large models for text, image, video, and audio generation have maintained opacity regarding their training dataset contents. Revelations from leaks and experiments indicate the inclusion of copyrighted materials like books, news articles, and films. Ongoing lawsuits aim to delineate whether utilizing copyrighted material for AI training constitutes fair use or mandates compensation to copyright holders.

Additionally, apprehensions abound regarding the potential displacement of human creators across various domains, encompassing art, music, literature, and beyond. Concerns extend to white-collar professions like translation, paralegal work, customer service, and journalism. Though some disconcerting layoffs have occurred, the viability of generative AI for widespread enterprise applications remains uncertain, with reliability issues highlighted, particularly in light of the aforementioned hallucination phenomenon.

Potential Misuses and Positive Potentials of Generative AI

Generative AI poses a risk of facilitating nefarious activities. Various forms of misuse are conceivable across different categories. For instance, personalized scams and phishing attacks exploit generative AI capabilities, such as "voice cloning," allowing scammers to mimic specific individuals and deceive their families into providing financial assistance. All modalities of generative AI—text, audio, image, and video—hold the potential to propagate misinformation by fabricating convincing depictions of events that never occurred, raising significant concerns, particularly regarding electoral integrity. Recently, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission responded to the threat of AI-generated robocalls by imposing a ban.

Image- and video-generating tools also harbor risks, including the production of nonconsensual pornography, although reputable companies have measures in place to prevent such abuses. Moreover, chatbots theoretically have the capacity to guide individuals through the creation of harmful substances like explosives or nerve gas. Despite safeguards implemented in major LLMs, there exists a subversive element intent on circumventing these protections, with "uncensored" versions of open-source LLMs readily accessible.

Nevertheless, many envision generative AI as a catalyst for enhanced productivity and a conduit for fostering novel forms of creativity. Anticipating both calamities and innovative breakthroughs, the trajectory of generative AI remains unpredictable. Consequently, understanding the fundamentals of these models assumes increasing importance for individuals versed in technology. Ultimately, the responsibility lies with humans to sustain and refine these systems, striving to augment their capabilities while endeavoring to serve the greater good.

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