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To be, or not to be, a Prompt Engineer

Forbes | Craig S. Smith | Apr 5, 2023

Midjourney the new reality - To be, or not to be, a Prompt Engineer

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A new career is emerging with the spread of generative AI applications like ChatGPT: prompt engineering, the art (not science) of crafting effective instructions for AI models.

  • What is prompt Engineering? Getting generative AI to do what you want is no easy task, as anyone who has tried image generation systems like Dalle-E or MidJourney or language models like ChatGPT. While successful creations are dazzling, an untrained user’s results are likely to be deeply flawed or, with ChatGPT, even wrong. The same is true for AI code-writing generators.
    • That may be a bit of big tech hyperbole, but there’s no doubt that prompt engineers will become the wizards of the AI world, coaxing and guiding AI models into generating content that is not only relevant but also coherent and consistent with the desired output.
    • Why so difficult?  That’s because generative AI models respond to natural language and natural language is notoriously imprecise. The same sentence can have different meanings depending on the context, making it difficult for the AI model to understand what the user wants it to generate.
    • Natural language prompts may not provide enough context for the AI to understand the user's intent fully. This can lead to the AI generating responses that are not relevant to the user's needs or expectations.
    • Generative AI models are typically trained on large amounts of text data, but the training data may not contain examples that match the specific intent of the user's prompt

See:  Yuval Harari Warns That Civilization’s ‘Master key’ is at Stake With the Rise of A.I.

  • Impact:
    • Already, prompt engineering experts are popping up all over the place, startups are offering prompt engineering services and companies are starting to list ‘prompt engineer’ as a job title.
    • With the increasing sophistication of AI algorithms, the role of software engineers will evolve into one of guiding and overseeing the AI's work, providing input and feedback, and ensuring that the generated code meets the project's requirements.
    • We are seeing the compilation of prompt libraries, like libraries of pre-written code or software components that can be reused in different applications.
    • There is a flood of startups /new tools to help engineer prompts, including PromptPerfect and PromptingGuide. Online schools are beginning to offer courses in prompting and PromptBase is an online marketplace for buying and selling high-quality prompts. The list will undoubtedly grow.

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