Prompt engineering is the art and science of writing prompts that cause large language model systems, such as GPT-3 or ChatGPT, to generate useful output.
Prompt engineering is fast becoming one of the most desirable career paths. As the prominence of natural language processing and deep learning systems increase, it is likely that prompt engineering will become even more significant.
You can learn prompt engineering for yourself, but especially if you’re working with a pretrained language model, it could be helpful to either purchase prompts or hire a skilled prompt engineer.
Here’s a look at the basics of prompt engineering for language models, as well as image-generation systems like DALL-E, and three prompt engineering companies you can check out.
How does prompt engineering work?
Prompt engineering is the process of writing input text that systems like GPT-3 can use to create valuable output. Writing good prompts is essential to getting useful results from these systems.
Understanding intent and context, providing just enough information without overwhelming the system, and anticipating how a deep learning model sees a given prompt are essential skills for prompt engineers.
In the context of image-generation systems like DALL-E, prompt engineering is also sometimes called “synthography”. If you want some examples of good prompts and their output, take a look at our examples section. We try to provide a few examples of prompts for each of the major systems.
Prompt Engineering Services
Prompt engineering services provide an easy way to find example prompts or to purchase pre-written prompts. Several companies and websites are cropping up to provide these services.
Prompt Base is one of the most established companies that allow you to purchase prompts for DALL-E, GPT-3, Midjourney, and other large language models. For a few dollars, you can buy prompts to generate everything from images of enamel pin designs to video game art, blog posts, and much else.
Prompt Base also allows budding prompt engineers to start earning from the prompts they write. The US Copyright Office has suggested that prompts themselves may one day be subject to copyright, so developing these powerful assets is a great idea.
Essentially, Prompt Base provides a prompt based dataset of purchasable training prompts that are proven to produce helpful output.
GPT-3 Demo is a website that includes hundreds of examples of prompts, a prompt marketplace, and links to directories of apps and websites which use large language models.
It’s a great resource if you want to explore AI use cases and examples, or to learn some of the basics of prompt engineering.
In many cases, the best way to learn prompt engineering is to see how prompts interact with models, and to see the output generated by a specific prompt.
For students and others on a limited budget, that can be prohibitively expensive if you’re working directly with a system like GPT-3. Instead, example sites like GPT-3 Demo provide an easy way to see prompt input and the resulting outputs, which can help a lot in learning prompt engineering.
The freelancing marketplace Upwork is a great place to hire machine learning and natural language experts.
Many of these experts now also moonlight as prompt engineers. The best way to find prompt engineers on the site is to enter keywords such as “prompt engineer” or “GPT-3 prompts” and then review the resulting profiles, searching for someone with ML or data science expertise.
Rates for talented prompt engineers vary widely. Some charge as little as $40 an hour, whereas others charge $200 or more.
Prompt engineering is such a new field that limited resources are available for people who want to buy prompts or hire prompt-writing professionals. Over the next several years, as AI takes over more of the tech space, that will almost certainly change.
The time to develop a prompt engineering capability within your company is now. If you’re technically oriented or want a challenge, teaching yourself the skill is both a great career move and an exciting way to engage with today’s newest technologies.
Take a look at some of the sites we’ve profiled here, or visit our own learning section to improve your prompt engineering and synthography skills.