I was listening to a conversation in an ad agency about ChatGPT, which sounded like Generative AI — and vice versa. The conversation suggested that both were the same and that they were about cool fantasy visuals basically. That’s about 1 per cent of Generative AI, and I thought I should clear the air, so here goes.

To start with, Generative AI — Gen AI — encompasses any AI system that creates content, while ChatGPT is a specific implementation of generative AI tailored for text-based conversations. Gen AI has many applications, from marketing to gaming to architecture. Think machines conjuring up art, code, marketing strategies, fashion designs, traffic control plans and so on.

Here are some fun applications that are changing the world as we know it.

Fashion: The partnership between designers and Generative AI is all about leveraging AI’s ability to process massive datasets aligned to the designer’s imagination — or lack of it.

Marketing: Generative AI sifts through colossal datasets to predict emerging trends, empowering marketers to be trendsetters rather than followers. In media buying, Generative AI, with its blend of data-driven insights and creative sparks, ushers in a future where media campaigns are more targeted, engaging, and resonant than ever before.

Healthcare: Generative AI is ushering in a new era of virtual health assistants. These AI-powered avatars can answer medical queries, provide information about symptoms, and even offer guidance on self-care measures. They’re available 24/7, of course — on your phone.

Architecture: Generative AI can analyse site conditions, climate data, and even local cultural influences to generate designs that are tailor-made for their locations.

Policy: Generative AI offers a virtual playground to simulate policy scenarios, helping policymakers anticipate outcomes and make informed choices without waiting for real-world experimentation.

Political campaigns: By analysing vast amounts of data, Gen AI can identify key issues, sentiments, and trends that resonate with voters, enabling campaigns to tailor their messages for maximum impact.

Traffic Management: Generative AI doesn’t just analyse data; it anticipates traffic. By examining historical patterns, events, and even weather conditions, AI can predict congestion hotspots and offer alternative routes, saving commuters from traffic jams.

Marriage Brokers: Generative AI delves deep into the intricacies of individual preferences, personality traits, and values — by analysing colossal datasets, AI matches profiles that go beyond surface-level traits, promising compatibility and eternal compatibility — and perhaps love.

HR Recruitment: Generative AI goes beyond keywords; it understands context. By analysing resumes and cover letters, AI identifies transferable skills, experiences, and potential hidden gems that might be overlooked by traditional resume scanning. Even better, Generative AI offers an unbiased lens, focusing solely on qualifications and experiences, minimising the risk of discrimination and fostering diversity.

Gaming: Gen AI is crafting plots and landscapes, cooking up characters, and spinning narratives with more twists than a rollercoaster.

Mental Health: AI’s analytical prowess shines in psychiatric diagnosis. By analysing vast amounts of patient data, AI can identify patterns, behaviors, and risk factors, assisting psychiatrists in making more accurate and timely diagnoses.

Video Editing for Influencers: Video editing can be tricky and time-consuming. Generative AI offers many apps that offer automated video editing suggestions, simplifying the process while maintaining the influencer’s signature style.

Coding: Generative AI can write code, squash bugs, and optimise algorithms with a finesse that would make veteran developers nod in approval. Whether you need a snippet or an entire program, AI is here to turn your coding conundrums into elegant solutions.

Hospitality: Generative AI is reinventing pricing, by juggling historical data, local events, and demand patterns to optimise pricing strategies that attract guests while maximising revenue.

Climate Change: Generative AI is aiding climate scientists in creating complex climate models and analysing environmental data. It helps predict climate patterns, simulate environmental scenarios, and explore potential solutions for fighting extreme climate change.

Pollution: Generative AI can analyse vast amounts of data from air quality sensors, meteorological sources, and historical pollution levels to predict future air quality conditions. This information can be used for early warnings and real-time monitoring to guide pollution mitigation strategies.

In sum, Generative AI is not just a tool; it’s a catalyst for evolution. It’s reshaping our understanding of creativity, problem-solving, and the very nature of human-machine collaboration.

Just ask smarter questions, as Brad Smith of Microsoft said in New Delhi, recently.

(Shubho Sengupta is a digital marketer with an analogue ad agency past. He can be found @shubhos)