By Ankit Chopra | 07 July 2023
magine a world where authors and artists would squander numerous hours trying to come up with a creative idea. Even after they happen to come up with an idea that seemed wonderful, they would again be stuck in a loop of self questioning, researching and validating until it was ready to be put to the test.
The search for creativity felt like chasing shadows, and even the most talented minds could find themselves facing the dreaded writer's block.
However, the tides have turned and a new era has begun to free us from the shackles of disappointment and frustration. Before we delve deeper into the mysterious world of prompts, let us first define what we mean by the term "prompt."
Let us understand this with an analogy, imagine you had a companion that had answers to anything and everything you were capable to ask. It could answer you regarding any topic or trend or present phenomenon. Let us take an example, you had to create a presentation on global warming and you had no information as to what it was. You would go to this companion of yours and speak with him. You could ask questions like—
And so on. Your smart companion would be answering each of the above questions, the return of which would have you ask more questions building the conversation and making it flow. The questions you were asking to this companion of yours, are essentially what we call prompts. What you ask, how you ask and the style you ask in is what essentially makes a prompt. It is your style of communicating with this companion of yours.
This friend of yours is what Artificial Intelligence essentially is. But, the bond it shares with people is not alike. What do I mean by that? I mean the way it would answer to me and you regarding a topic would not be the same. The way you ask versus how I ask could be different and so would be the way AI would answer to us. This is what successful prompt engineering does, it figures out how to build on a conversation to get the best out of it.
Now that you understand what a prompt is, let us ride further and understand what its different types are. Note, these types are not from a technical but more from a creative stand point. Also, prompts could be differentiated on multiple aspects; here is a brief introduction about them:
These prompts are where you ask questions, share ideas, and explore diverse perspectives, as if you were in a creative tête-à-tête with a friend. These are regular conversations that you engage in with no real motive.
You: "What if time travel were possible? Where and when would you go, and what adventures would you seek?"
AI: "Oh, I'd love to journey back to the Renaissance era, witness Da Vinci's brilliance, and perhaps even become his apprentice!
These prompts are where you give tasks that you plan to accomplish or scenarios which you want to be imagined, hence the name to-do. Such tasks have no limit except your imagination.
Example: Write a letter to my future-self reflecting on my wildest dreams and aspirations or help me write a blog on nationalism or list top 20 features of a next-gen revolutionary car and so on
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and let your imagination take flight. These prompts inspire you to conjure vivid images from your mind's eye. Whether guided by inspiration or descriptive words, these prompts help you paint a scene with words evoking emotions.
I asked AI to help visualise an evening scene where I walk in a park and here is what it delivered. As I walk in the park, the orange sunset blankets everything in warm hues. The gentle breeze carries the scent of nature, and the soft crunch of leaves soothes my steps. The sky becomes a canvas of vibrant colors, filling me with peace. Children's laughter adds joy to the tranquil scene. Time slows, and I cherish the beauty around me. Twilight embraces the park as the sun bids adieu. In this serene moment, I am grateful for life's simple wonders.
These prompts are your gateway to in-depth research questions or problems. They present intriguing questions or challenges that require AI to delve into vast databases, articles, and reliable sources to come up with evidence based solutions. Whether it's investigating the impact of climate change on coastal ecosystems or exploring the efficacy of a newly discovered medical treatment, research prompts quench your thirst for on point answers.
Study the influence of social media on adolescent mental health, proposing evidence-based mitigation strategies, or investigate the diet-lifestyle-chronic disease connection to inform public health policies or study biodiversity loss and its effects on ecosystem stability, proposing conservation measures.
These prompts are gateways to imagination and artistic expression. When you engage in creative prompts, you ask the AI to turn into a versatile storyteller, poetic muse, or even a master visualizer. From gripping narratives, to adapting a style of writing as a role play, such prompts harness the AI's ability to break free from the normal bounds.
Compose a thrilling sci-fi short story about a lone astronaut's encounter with a mysterious extraterrestrial civilization on a distant planet or think of yourself as Shakespeare and answer my next set questions in this role play.
What if the result is unsatisfactory the first time you enter a prompt, as is usually the case? It could be one-dimensional, irrelevant to your prompt, or both. When this occurs, you cannot be pleased and must engage in a meaningful debate with AI to assist it in evaluating its results and improving them further until you are satisfied.
Where most individuals give up or take everything the AI has to offer, successful prompt engineers are formed. Knowing what to ask, how to ask it, how to ask it again, and how to avoid common responses is what leads to meaningful results.
Let us understand with an example of a visual prompt:
You: Imagine a scene for the cover of my motivational magazine.
AI: A radiant sunrise over a serene mountain landscape, where a lone hiker stands at the peak, gazing towards a horizon of endless possibilities.
You: This seems like an overused repetitive visual. I need a more specific motivational graphic, something that inspires the readers, hooks them, peaks their curiosity. How will you visualize defeat overtaken by the jaws of bad fortune?
AI: A phoenix rising from the ashes, its vibrant wings spreading wide against a dark and stormy backdrop. The fiery glow of resilience shines through its eyes, defying defeat with unwavering strength. Symbolizing transformation and rebirth, this powerful artwork captures the essence of conquering adversity and emerging stronger than ever.
You: The scene I needed involves a human and not a fantasy creature. It is a human which is stealing victory from the jaws of defeat, conquers his fortune, makes a move by grit and dedication, ensuring the scene is vivid, descriptive, imaginative and thought provoking.
AI : In a world cloaked in darkness, a lone figure stands tall amidst the ruins, a ray of light casting a halo of hope around him. His eyes, unwavering and determined, reflect a journey of struggle and perseverance. With sleeves rolled up and hands smeared with dirt, he toils relentlessly, unearthing treasure from the depths of adversity. The backdrop showcases scenes of past setbacks transforming into stepping stones of triumph. This captivating masterpiece embodies the indomitable human spirit, inspiring readers to rewrite their destinies through sheer willpower and resilience.
As you can see, as the prompts evolved and became more specific, so did the responses. At first, the simple query received a fairly straightforward answer for the situation; however, this was not what I expected. If you were seeking for an answer and were clueless, you could have chosen that and ended the conversation, but in this case, I knew exactly what I needed. The AI then delved deeper into understanding the intent, what the user wanted, where he was dissatisfied, what he was specifically looking for, and so on.
It became clear that more power is in the "I," or the user, rather than the "AI." The AI can be compared to a car, with the user as the driver. The better the driver, the more fun and smooth the ride. It is not so much about how powerful or capable the car is as it is about how clear the user's goal and communication is.
AI is a secret weapon with unfathomable potential for a select few. Cretorial uses it as a playground for imagination and development. Our content is not just AI-generated, but it is also human-optimized. It is not the result of a single suggestion; it is the outcome of a clear intent combined with the power of imagination and a sense of right and wrong. It is being in control of the AI as it is meticulously manoeuvred to provide world-first results for any project or idea.