Ideas Amplified™ | The Flink Blog

Learning to Speak AI: A Practical Prompts Primer for AI Productivity 

Despite what you may think, AI is not strictly the domain of millennial coders and tech-heads, but rather a community of curious people playing creatively at the leading edge of technology.

(A “Poem” by Chat GPT)

In a realm where minds and circuits unite,
Lies the power of AI, a guiding light.
With wondrous algorithms, it can aid,
Assisting us in realms where we once strayed.

Through boundless data and intelligent might,
AI unveils new vistas in our sight.
It helps us navigate this complex maze,
Unveiling hidden patterns in its gaze.

In medicine, it lends a healing hand,
Diagnosing ailments that we can’t understand.
From radiology to genomic research,
AI uncovers knowledge that we perch.

In art, it sparks creativity’s fire,
Inspiring minds to reach ever higher.
With brushes and pixels, it lends a touch,
Creating masterpieces that mean so much.

In business, it predicts trends and demand,
Guiding strategies with an astute command.
From analytics to customer care,
AI empowers enterprises to fare.

In daily life, it simplifies our tasks,
Automating processes, it basks.
From smart homes to virtual assistants,
AI enhances life with its persistence.

But let us not forget, amidst the awe,
AI’s true strength lies within human draw.
With hearts and minds, we shape its design,
Harnessing its power, yours and mine.

So let us embrace this fusion of might,
And work together, with AI’s insight.
For in collaboration, we shall find,
A future where AI aids humankind.

AI is changing everything.

Every day, the website lists dozens of new AI-powered apps and websites as they’re being released — Apps that create avatars, create complex images, design logos, write emails, reports and code. There are (as of this date) over 150 AI writing tools alone! 

Despite what you may think, AI is not strictly the domain of millennial coders and tech-heads, but rather a community of curious people playing creatively at the leading edge of technology.

“But where does one start?” you ask, as a non-techy, curious observer-type person?

With the first entry into the fray, Open AI’s Chat GPT, of course.

Chat GPT is accessible through Open AI’s free test site.

There, at the “Send A Message” box is where you’ll write what you’d like the AI to help you do. You can use normal language and if the response you get isn’t quite right you can try again by hitting the “Regenerate Response” button. Or if you’re really off base, simply correct Chat GPT by saying where it misunderstood you. The conversation is ongoing while you’re still in the same session. This means that, even if it takes you 6 tries, Chat GPT will remember everything you’ve talked about up until this point. 

So, you could for example, ask the AI to draft headline ideas for a story you’re writing by simply asking for them after telling it what the story is about. If the results are too wordy or academic, you could ask the AI to write them for an audience of 16 year olds. The resulting headlines will then be rewritten at a more accessible level of language free of jargon.

Not that your audience is made up of teenagers, but writing that reads like people speak is an easier read and can hold the reader longer than dense, professional writing and has the added benefit in injecting more personality and playfulness.

Not sure how to start your article?

No problem. Again. Just ask for help. And Chat GPT will write an outline for your story if you like.

Still stuck? Ask it to draft a 100 word version of point number 1 in your outline. And so on. You can actually write an entire book this way if you wanted. I’ve done it. And it’s terrible. 

I asked Chat GPT for headlines, then an outline and finally, I asked it to write each section. A 200 page book took about 5 minutes to “write”. But I really wouldn’t call it writing. It reads as though it’s a stilted Junior High School book report. Yes. The information is there. But it’s completely devoid of personality and a point of view.

Go on. You know you wanna’ try it. I’ll wait. (theme music from Jeopardy goes here…)

So. Whaddya’ think? Crummy huh?

This is where the AI/Human interaction is critical. AI needs for you to inject the personality and point of view. And better prompts are the key to better results.

It’s nothing like a search engine.

Don’t turn to Chat GPT for answers you’d normally get from Google. It’s not that. It’s a Language Learning Model (LLM). It’s more like a personal valet or intellectual bot. (both very poor descriptions). The point is, that Chat GPT and other AI apps can be almost anything you want them to be, and the real-world uses are everywhere and anywhere.

And for a very “meta-moment”… 

You can even ask Chat GPT for help on writing better prompts by asking it to act as a “Prompt Generator”. It will work WITH you to get the information it needs to solve your problems. I’ve even seen some people use Chat GPT to write better prompts for the AI image-making program, Midjourney. It can make a huge difference in the quality of what Midjourney produces.

When crafting AI prompts there are a few ideas to keep in mind for best results:

1. Be Specific:

Clear, specific, prompts provide the AI with a well-defined task or question. Avoid vague prompts (like “Tell me about the economy”) because they result in vague responses. Clearly state the desired output or information you are seeking from the AI.

2. Provide Context & Background:

Relevant context and background info helps guide the AI to better understand the prompts and generate more accurate, meaningful responses. Include any necessary details, constraints, or any specific instructions to guide the AI’s output. Additional information can also be provided as you work with the AI to hone its results.

3. Use Proper Formatting:

Format your prompts in a way that the AI can easily understand. Use proper grammar, punctuation, and syntax. If you need to, it’s ok to break down complex questions into simpler, chunks to ensure clarity.

4. Be Aware of Biases:

Unfortunately, AI apps like Chat GPT can still have some baked-in biases. Asking for an image of a woman in Midjourney, for example, will typically return an image of a white woman. Be mindful of potential biases in your prompts and avoid requesting or promoting discriminatory, offensive, or harmful content. Encourage fair and unbiased responses from the AI, and be cautious about sensitive topics that may require thoughtful handling. Most AIs still have filtering to preclude people asking for bomb recipes or making celebrity porn, but it’s still possible to inadvertently create offensive content.

5. Iterate & Experiment:

Using AI is often a trial and error process. Its iterative. Experimenting with different prompt variations can yield markedly different results, especially when generating images. Try different phrasings, variations, or additional context to fine-tune your output. Then refine and adjust your prompts based on the AI’s responses to achieve the desired results. (TIP: Look for collections of AI prompts online or follow AI author and artist accounts on Twitter for sample files, and often, the actual prompts used to get those results. Then change a thing or two and try it out!)

It’s Not Rocket Science.
It Just Feels Like It.

It’s not rocket science but it can certainly make you FEEL like a genius when you start to crack the code and make AI do your bidding. Faster emails, better blog writing, and more are waiting for you to discover. 

What do YOU want AI to help you do?

Reach out and let me know. I may be able to find just the solution for you!

NOTE: As you might expect, all the images in this post were generated using Midjourney and DALL-E AI image generators by me. In moments. Seriously. Under a minute. And they’re not copies of something else. This stuff is crazy!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR / / / Brent Flink is an award-winning graphic designer, marketer and the founder and Creative Director of Flink Branding, a Vancouver-based food & beverage brand design firm. He specializes in helping food and beverage brands find their authentic voice and build brands that build companies.

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