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What is a Prompt Engineer And What Skills Will You Need?

Do you know what a Prompt Enginner is and what their skills are?   ChatGPT has been a huge tech buzzword these past few months and I explain it here.  Take the time to try it out.  But if have and you are parent, teacher, or someone who is trying to understand what professions may emerge from this technology, I explain what a prompt engineer will be (or is). 

Maybe it won’t always be called a prompt engineer but you will get the idea.  Read on….

What is a prompt engineer

What is a prompt engineer?

I can hear the jokes now.  Yes, it does mean an engineer who is on time but the phrase I have in mind deals with artificial intelligence (AI).

AI prompt engineering refers to the process of designing and crafting prompts for AI models to generate text or answer questions. The goal of this process is to create prompts that are clear, concise, and well-defined, so that the AI model can produce high-quality and relevant responses.

It involves understanding the capabilities and limitations of the AI model, selecting the appropriate type of prompt, and carefully crafting the wording of the prompt to ensure that the AI model generates the desired output. AI prompt engineering is a critical component of developing and deploying AI models for various applications, including chat-bots, voice assistants, and language generation systems.

What is an artificial intelligence model?

On one level, a model is a simplified representation of a real-world system or process. When talking about artificial intelligence, a model is a set of algorithms and mathematical equations designed to perform a specific task.  These tasks can include recognizing objects in images, translating text from one language to another, or generating text.

A simpler explaination of artificial intelligence models...

Here is an analogy to better understand what an artificial intelligence model is:

Think of a model as a toy robot that can perform a specific action, such as walking, talking, or dancing. Just like the toy robot, an AI model is programmed to perform a specific task, but instead of moving its body, it performs the task by processing information and generating output.

For example, you could have a model that recognizes different types of fruits in pictures. The model takes an image of a fruit as input and outputs the name of the fruit it recognizes in the image.

By using models, we can teach computers to do tasks that would be difficult or time-consuming for humans to do by hand. Just like you can use different toy robots to perform different tasks, we can use different AI models to solve different problems.

How do you develop the skills to become a prompt engineer?

To develop skills in AI prompt engineering, you can follow these steps:

  1. Gain a strong understanding of AI models: Start by familiarizing yourself with the types of AI models used for text generation and language processing, such as transformer models and long short-term memory (LSTM) networks that is part of Deep Learning as I discussed in this post.
  2. Study language and writing: A strong understanding of language and writing is essential for crafting clear and effective prompts. Read books and articles on writing, grammar, and language structure, and practice writing in different styles and formats.
  3. Experiment with AI models:Try out different prompts and see how the models generate output. This will give you a better understanding of how AI models work and what types of prompts work best for different models. 
  4. Practice with real-world examples: Look for real-world examples of AI models in action and try to replicate them. This will give you hands-on experience with designing and crafting prompts, and help you develop a feel for what works and what doesn’t.
  5. Learn from feedback: As you experiment with AI models, seek feedback from others and use it to improve your skills. Collaborate with other engineers, designers, and writers to get different perspectives on your work, and use that feedback to improve your prompts.
  6. Stay up-to-date with developments in the field: AI and machine learning are rapidly evolving fields.  In order to keep up, read articles, attend workshops, and participate in online communities to stay informed.

Try these to practice your prompt and AI skills:


Playground is a visual interface for users to test Cohere’s large language models without writing a single line of code.


Gedankenfabrik provides a number of web-based AI applications to explore on your own.

AI Playground

The AI Playground allows you to use block coding and scripting to build AI chatbots.  Allows you to explore coding with models.

How can schools prepare students to possibly become prompt engineers?

Introducing young students to the basics of artificial intelligence and language processing can pretty cool. Here are some steps to follow:

  1. Start with a simple explanation: Begin by explaining what AI is and how it works. Use simple, everyday examples to help the students understand the concept.
  2. Introduce the concept of prompts: Explain that AI models use prompts to generate text or answer questions, and show some examples of how these prompts work.
  3. Encourage hands-on experimentation: Encourage the students to experiment with simple AI models, such as text generators or language processing tools. Give them prompts to try, and help them understand how the AI models respond to different types of prompts.
  4. Use real-world examples: Show the students how AI is being used in real-world applications, such as chatbots and virtual assistants, and encourage them to try designing prompts for these systems.
  5. Encourage teamwork and collaboration: AI prompt engineering is often a collaborative process, so encourage the students to work in teams and share their ideas with each other.
  6. Provide opportunities for creative expression: AI models can be used to generate all sorts of text, from poems and stories to jokes and riddles. Encourage the students to be creative and experiment with different types of prompts to see what they can generate.
  7. Emphasize the importance of clear and concise prompts: Explain that clear and concise prompts are essential for generating high-quality outputs. Encourage the students to pay attention to the wording and structure of their prompts.

What would be future jobs that would use prompt engineering?

Prompt engineering is an important part of the development and deployment of AI models.   As AI becomes more integrated into our daily lives, the demand for individuals skilled in this field is likely to grow.

Some potential future jobs that may use prompt engineering skills include:

  1. AI Product Manager: An AI product manager would be responsible for designing and deploying AI models for various applications, such as chat-bots, virtual assistants, and language generators. They would work closely with teams of engineers, designers, and data scientists to develop and refine AI models.
  2. Chat-bot Designer: A chat-bot designer would work on designing and building conversational systems, such as customer service chat-bots and virtual assistants. They would use prompt engineering skills to create prompts that are clear, concise, and well-defined, so that the chat-bots can understand and respond to user requests in an accurate and helpful manner.
  3. AI Content Writer: An AI content writer would work on creating prompts for AI models to generate text, such as news articles, blog posts, and social media content. They would use their writing and language skills, along with their understanding of AI models, to create prompts that generate high-quality and engaging outputs.
  4. Voice Assistant Developer: A voice assistant developer would work on building voice-based systems, such as voice-controlled virtual assistants and smart home devices. They would design prompts that allow the voice assistants to understand and respond to user requests in a natural and intuitive manner.
  5. AI Education Specialist: An AI education specialist would work on creating educational materials and programs to teach individuals about AI and machine learning. They would create educational content that is engaging, relevant, and accessible to learners of all levels.

"The future's so bright, I gotta wear shades"

Do you recognize that line from Timbuk 3’s 1986 hit? 

Personally, I have spent a considerable amount of time trying to understand how these chat-bots and AI models will start disrupting the current careers.  I did have a moment of anxiety thinking we are all doomed.  But then I realized I needed to follow my own philosophy that I have also shared with my students and peers.

Technology has always “shifted” us.  It did end some professions but then gave rise to new ones.  Anyone who feels compelled to stop learning and think their job will be unchanged is in danger of losing their job.  Anyone who keeps learning and is able to adjust, will be fine. 

So note this possible profession and how artificial intelligence can help you with your work.   Be ready to “roll with it”.


Happy coding!!!! Mr Fred


Mr. Fred

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