What is prompt engineering?
At a high level, a “prompt” is simply the input or question you give to an AI model. For example, if you’re using a text-generating AI and you give it the start of a sentence, that’s a prompt. You can prompt a language model like Chat GPT by simply asking it a question, or directing it to write words, code, or numbers.
Prompt engineering is about finding the most effective ways to phrase these prompts to get the desired output. It involves designing, testing, and iterating on different prompts to see which ones produce the best results.
The goal of prompt engineering is to guide the model’s responses, improve the relevancy of the model’s output, and ultimately make the AI more useful and efficient. It’s an important aspect of working with AI models, especially in fields like chatbots, virtual assistants, and other language-based AI applications.
Isn’t prompt engineering simple?
How difficult can it be to tell a computer what to do? The truth is that prompting can be really simple. It almost seems easy until you start to get picky about what the output is. When you need accuracy, consistency or predictablility in a result generated by AI, you will need to design or “engineer” the prompt.
An introduction to prompt engineering
This excellent video lecture by Elvis Saravia of DAIR.AI attempts unravel the intricacies of prompt engineering for both beginners and (relatively) experienced practitioners alike. It gets into the fundamentals of prompt engineering, shares prompting techniques, and will introduce you to essential tools and applications that are part of this very new and quickly growing discipline.
A wide spectrum of tasks can be achieved through prompting LLM’s. Some of these tasks include text summarization, question answering, text classification, code generation, and even complex reasoning.
Role-playing in prompt engineering
One engaging topic the video covers is the use of “role-playing” in prompt engineering. The role-playing strategy enables developers to guide models on specific behavioral outcomes in different scenarios, such as when constructing a chatbot or a customer support system.
A significant section of Saravia’s lecture explores the idea of ‘program aided language models’. Here, a language model is employed to comprehend problems and generate programs as intermediate reasoning steps, a method that could significantly enhance model performance.
Using external sources like databases to enhance results.
The promising idea of using external sources to augment language models is also discussed. This approach could revolutionize how we gather scientific knowledge and complete related tasks. The possibility of integrating language models with agents to potentially revolutionize planning and action in reinforcement learning tasks is explored.
Despite these exciting prospects, Saravia does not shy away from addressing challenges in prompt engineering. Language models have a tendency to hallucinate and generate biases, thus emphasizing the importance of model safety in real-world applications.
The role of humans in prompting AI systems
The overview emphasizes the importance of timely engineering and human labeling in systems such as chat GPT and other AI systems, highlighting the crucial role of human input in AI development.
Kudos to Mr. Saravia for contributing this video lecture. Go forth and prompt!