Prompt Engineering Has a Different Meaning Than You May Think

In my recent post about AI Platforms, I mentioned that I learned about the term prompt engineering which refers to the structured queries designed to maximize the answers from an artificial intelligence tool. I thought I would improve my knowledge and usage of prompt engineering by querying ChatGPT. My queries and answers are written below.

What is prompt engineering?

Prompt engineering is the process of designing and refining the prompts or inputs provided to a natural language processing (NLP) model to generate more accurate and relevant outputs. In other words, prompt engineering involves crafting effective instructions or cues that help the NLP model understand the desired task and generate appropriate responses.

Prompt engineering can be applied in various NLP applications such as language translation, question answering, text summarization, and sentiment analysis. It involves carefully selecting the input format, selecting the right keywords or phrases, and adjusting the level of specificity and complexity of the prompts to achieve the desired results.

With the recent advancements in language models like GPT-3, prompt engineering has become a critical aspect of NLP research and development. Effective prompt engineering can improve the accuracy and relevance of NLP models, making them more useful for real-world applications.

Are there any classes available that teach prompt engineering?

Yes, there are classes and courses available that teach prompt engineering. These classes are typically offered as part of natural language processing (NLP) or machine learning (ML) programs or courses, and cover topics such as text data preprocessing, prompt formulation, and model fine-tuning.

Some of the popular online platforms that offer NLP and ML courses with prompt engineering topics include Coursera, Udemy, and edX. Additionally, universities and research institutions may offer specific courses or seminars on prompt engineering as part of their NLP or ML programs.

It’s important to note that prompt engineering is an advanced topic that requires a strong foundation in NLP and machine learning. So, it’s recommended to have some prior experience in these fields before delving into prompt engineering.

Do you think that liberal arts graduates could become excellent at prompt engineering?

Yes, liberal arts graduates could become excellent at prompt engineering with the right training and experience. While a degree in liberal arts may not provide specific training in NLP or machine learning, it does provide a strong foundation in critical thinking, problem-solving, and communication skills that are valuable in the field of prompt engineering.

Prompt engineering requires a deep understanding of language, semantics, and context, which are areas that liberal arts graduates are well-equipped to navigate. In addition, the ability to think creatively and outside-the-box is also essential for prompt engineering, as it often involves experimenting with different prompts to improve model performance.

Therefore, with some additional training and experience in NLP and machine learning, liberal arts graduates can develop the skills and knowledge required to become excellent prompt engineers. They may also bring a unique perspective to the field, which can help to solve complex problems and drive innovation in NLP research and development.

I decided to take the ChatGPT suggestions for courses about prompt engineering and visited the Coursera website first. My initial search query was for courses with prompt engineering in the content. Coursera surfaced 72 suggestions, none of which were relevant.

My next attempt was to search for natural language processing courses. Coursera provided me with 225 suggestions using that term. I gravitated toward a University of Pennsylvania course titled AI For Business Specialization which is free, started on March 8, and had 4,665 students already enrolled. The course is designed for beginners like a recent liberal arts grad. I pasted the course description below.

This specialization will provide learners with the fundamentals of using Big Data, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning and the various areas in which you can deploy them to support your business. You’ll cover ethics and risks of AI, designing governance frameworks to fairly apply AI, and also cover people management in the fair design of HR functions within Machine Learning. You’ll also learn effective marketing strategies using data analytics, and how personalization can enhance and prolong the customer journey and lifecycle. Finally, you will hear from industry leaders who will provide you with insights into how AI and Big Data are revolutionizing the way we do business.

By the end of this specialization, you will be able to implement ethical AI strategies for people management and have a better understanding of the relationship between data analytics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning. You will leave this specialization with insight into how these tools can shape and influence how you manage your business.

For additional reading, Professor Hosanagar’s book “A Human’s Guide to Machine Intelligence” can be used as an additional resource,”. You can find Professor Hosanagar’s book on his personal website or at Penguin Randomhouse.

When I entered “prompt engineering” on Udemy’s website, it indicated that there were 7,361 results. All the courses listed on the first few pages had “prompt engineering” in the title or description. Here are a few examples:

  • ChatGPT 101: Supercharge Your Work & Life – ChatGPT & Prompt Engineering for Beginners in 2023. Over 500+ Prompts. $39.99
  • ChatGPT Complete Guide: Learn Mid-Journey DALL – E2 & More – ChatGPT, Generative AI, Prompt Engineering. $84.99
  • Master AI with Prompt Engineering – Unleash the Power of language models with robust Prompt Engineering techniques. $19.99
  • ChatGPT Prompt Engineering for Beginners with 750+ Prompts – The art of Prompt Engineering with most amazing resource of 750+ prompts that you can download and copy/paste. $19.99
  • ChatGPT as Career Booster – Impress with your productivity. Prompt engineering – Enhance your career with AI. $84.99

A search for “natural language processing” on Udemy’s website yielded 10,000 results. I was comfortable that if I wanted to learn more about prompt engineering, Udemy’s offerings provided numerous options.

I decided to go back to ChatGPT, enter a query seeking its advice on how to select the right course. My query and its response are appended below.

My search for courses relevant to prompt engineering offered through Udemy yielded 7,361 choices. How would you choose the most relevant course to take?

Choosing the most relevant course on Udemy for prompt engineering can be overwhelming given the large number of options available. Here are some steps you can take to narrow down your choices and find the most suitable course:

  1. Determine your skill level and learning objectives: Before choosing a course, identify your current level of knowledge in NLP and machine learning and what you hope to achieve by taking the course. Some courses are designed for beginners, while others are more advanced and require prior knowledge of NLP and machine learning concepts.
  2. Read course descriptions and reviews: Read the course descriptions and reviews to get a sense of the course content, format, and instructor. Look for courses that specifically mention prompt engineering in their description and have positive reviews from previous students.
  3. Check the instructor’s background: Look into the instructor’s background and experience to ensure that they are qualified to teach the course. Check their credentials, education, and previous work experience in NLP and machine learning.
  4. Look for hands-on practice: Find courses that provide hands-on practice and real-world examples of prompt engineering to help you apply the concepts you learn. This can help you develop practical skills that are essential for prompt engineering.
  5. Consider the course duration and cost: Finally, consider the course duration and cost to ensure that it fits your schedule and budget. Some courses may be more expensive or time-consuming than others, so it’s important to choose one that meets your needs.

By following these steps, you can narrow down your choices and find the most relevant course on Udemy for prompt engineering that meets your needs and helps you achieve your learning objectives.

I was impressed with ChatGPT’s response. As usual, it took less than 40 seconds. I think it thrives on queries like this that don’t ask for specific sources. If I was ready to take a course, the process it outlined is very similar to what I would have gone through to select it.

Whether you’re a current student, recent graduate, or someone who is looking to further their career, it is more than evident that AI is not going away. I would consider experimenting with these AI platform tools as well as taking a course or two to enhance my professional skills.

While I’m currently comfortable using ChatGPT without taking a course on prompt engineering, I might elect to do otherwise when I move onto a tool like DALL-E2 that deals with text-to-image generation. I was never a great artist so thinking I might be able to direct the prompts that create the perfect image might be a stretch.

Good luck with your journey to become great at prompt engineering. It’s here to stay.

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