STORY: Is it okay to fully embrace the world of possibilities offered by generative AI like ChatGPT or should we be treating it with some level of caution? Here's everything you should know about this new technology.
Like other forms of artificial intelligence, generative AI learns how to take actions from past data.
It creates brand new content - a text, an image, even computer code - based on that training.
ChatGPT was released by Microsoft-backed OpenAI late last year - and was quickly put to use by millions of people.
A newer model, GPT-4, has just been unveiled - and now the chatbot is "multimodal" so it can perceive not only text but images as well.
Most obviously, generative AI can help create things like marketing copy from pages of information, which once cleaned up by a human could help shoppers decide what to buy.
The technology can take notes during a virtual meeting, draft and personalize emails, or create slide presentations.
Microsoft and Google both demonstrated these features in new product announcements.
There is some concern though about the technology's potential abuse.
School systems have fretted about students turning in AI-drafted essays.
Cybersecurity researchers fear it could allow bad actors, even governments, to produce even more disinformation.
The tech itself is prone to making mistakes or giving responses that seem erratic like professing love to a user.
Microsoft and Google have made the biggest splash so far but they are not alone.
Large companies like Salesforce as well as smaller ones like Adept AI Labs are getting in on the act.
Elon Musk was one of the co-founders of OpenAI - but he left in 2018 to focus on Tesla and its own AI.
He's expressed concerns about the future of AI, calling it "quite a dangerous technology"
And he's also batted for a regulatory authority to ensure development of the technology serves the public interest.