A Guide to Key Terms in Generative AI and Large Language Models

Here is a list of common terms and concepts related to conversational AI, large language models, and generative AI:

Natural Language Processing (NLP).

Picture AI as a multilingual friend who doesn’t just speak multiple languages but understands and makes sense of human language in its complexity – that’s NLP for you. It’s the broader term for the AI field focusing on the interaction between computers and humans via natural language.

Natural Language Understanding (NLU).

A subfield of NLP, NLU is like a skilled detective that unravels the meaning and sentiment of text. It focuses on machine reading comprehension, enabling machines to go beyond mere word recognition to understanding context, nuance, and intent.

Natural Language Generation (NLG).

NLG is the other half of the NLP equation. It’s all about generating coherent, contextually appropriate, and human-like text. It’s like having a digital poet or author that can compose text based on provided inputs.

Large Language Models (LLMs).

LLMs are essentially the ‘bibliophiles’ of AI models. They consume vast amounts of text data and generate human-like text. LLMs are used for a myriad of NLP tasks, including text completion, translation, and question-answering. Prime examples include GPT-3 from OpenAI and BERT/Bard from Google.


Chatbots are AI’s way of directly interacting with humans. They are digital assistants designed to converse in our natural language, enhancing user experience on messaging apps, websites, mobile apps, and even via telephone.

Transformer Models.

Transformers are not just Hollywood blockbuster material; in the NLP realm, they’re model architectures that use attention mechanisms to capture the context of words in a sentence. They’re like digital linguists, dissecting and understanding language structure. Examples include GPT-3 and BERT/Bard.


In the context of LLMs, a prompt is the starting gun for generating text. It’s the initial input that the model uses as a jumping-off point to generate a continuation of the text, following the context provided by the prompt.


In the world of NLP, a token is a piece of a whole, like a single word or part of a word. It’s the basic unit of text that models analyze.


Fine-tuning is akin to tailoring a pre-trained model to perform a specific task more effectively. For example, GPT-3 can be fine-tuned for a specific use case like medical text generation, adapting its general language understanding ability to a more specialized context.

Context Window.

A context window is the model’s short-term memory. It’s the number of previous words (or tokens) in a sentence that the model takes into account when predicting the next word.

Zero-Shot Learning, One-Shot Learning, and Few-Shot Learning.

These terms reflect the model’s ability to understand and perform tasks with minimal examples. It’s like the model’s ability to learn a new game with no instruction (zero-shot), or just one or a few examples (one-shot and few-shot, respectively).

Seq2Seq Models.

Short for “sequence-to-sequence”, Seq2Seq models are the multilingual translators in the AI world. They convert sequences from one domain (like sentences in English) to sequences in another domain (like the same sentences translated to French).

These are some of the fundamental terms and concepts in conversational and generative AI. As the field is rapidly evolving, new terms and concepts continually emerge.

Despite its wide range of applications – from art and music creation, drug discovery, to text generation and synthetic image creation – generative AI also presents ethical and legal challenges. These include the potential to create deep fakes or generate misleading or harmful content, demanding ongoing dialogue on its regulation.

For enquiries, product placements, sponsorships, and collaborations, connect with us at hello@firegulaman.com. We'd love to hear from you!

Recent Articles


Related Stories