I was thinking about this idea that a high-paying job of the future is going be prompt engineer. An "AI whisperer" if you like. This person is able to talk to the AI in a way that consistently provides the output they are looking for. One place where you can see this in action is in the field of AI generate art. Maybe you can say, "I want a picture of an astronaut riding a horse on the moon" and get something fun and cool.
But what if you wanted an 80-year-old female astronaut in an old NASA suit, her face clearly visible behind the faceplate, riding a purple horse with a kind of futuristic armor that generates oxygen and protects his body (never mind that the astronaut is wearing a suit), with a high-rise Moon base in the distance.
Okay, it's close, but not exactly what I was looking for. This, pundits will tell you, is where the AI whisperer (or prompt engineer) comes into play.
Except, I'm not buying it.
Fact is, I can write a pretty great paragraph that describes a scene with (or without) a central character. I can describe the landscape, in some detail, and impress a certain atmosphere in that description. However, turning that paragraph into a prompt that generates what I want, what I have already created, is not much different than a programmer writing a piece of code to add up two numbers.
What has made digital assistants like Google Assistant or Amazon's Alexa so cool is that I didn't need to write out something long and esoteric just to have it play some light jazz for me, or to tell me about the weather for tomorrow.
The real promise of AI is not to force a new generation into learning the finer points of crafting prompts, but to understand us and to collaborate with us in a way that is natural. AI that understands what we want is becoming more and more commonplace, with modern AI easily passing complex feats of understanding like the Winograd test. Generate AI systems have been hacked to accept an overarching request, or prompt, and then generate its own prompts, as needed, in order to achieve that goal. Look into AugoGPT if you're curious.
The bottom line is this. We shouldn't have to use arcane language to make our AI understand what we want. I shouldn't have to "craft prompts". It should be, and WILL BE, possible to simply have a conversation with your generative software and have it give you what you wanted. Then, if it's not quite right, you simply ask it, in perfectly natural language, to make the horse pink, not purple.
With all the hype and talk around ChatGPT and other generative AI (e.g. Dall-E, Stable Diffusion, etc), it can be hard to remember that ChatGPT burst on the scene only a few months ago. In that time, millions of people have jumped in and started to push the technology to create art, music, poetry, high school essays, short stories, or to tidy up their resumes. Hey ChatGPT, make my resume impossible to ignore.
The world first woke up to ChatGPT at the end of November, 2022!
Suddenly, people are rewriting the future to decide, after only a few months, what the jobs of the future will look like. That's insane! I guarantee you, that pushed into the proverbial corner, most pundits will admit that we just don't know. We could, I suppose, ask ChatGPT.
The only thing we know for sure is that things are a changin', people. One thing I'm fairly certain of, especially as I watch what the open-source community is doing with open generative AI models (as opposed to OpenAI, which really isn't), is that AI is just getting started. Another prediction I'm comfortable with making, is that the natural conversation I want to have with my AI helper in order to craft the perfect astronaut on the perfect horse on the perfect lunar landscape, isn't far away. I'll be able to do it. You'll be able to do it. Your dog may need help, but you get the idea. No AI whisperer or prompt engineer required.
Until next time... In the meantime, please subscribe to my mailing list. It's really helpful to know that you're out there, not just reading this, but looking forward to my next distracted collection of thoughts. :-) Please share this post widely on your favorite social network, and please join in the conversation.