Unlocking AI’s true potential through prompt engineering

With the recent advancements in the space of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and especially generative AI, machines are being trained to think, learn, and even communicate - just like humans. Enterprises are now looking leverage this to create generative AI use cases that let them streamline, speed-up, and transform their businesses.

This is where, the importance of prompt engineering is also evolving and scaling up as it sits in the crucial space between what the human user wants and what the machines understand.

So, what exactly is prompt engineering?

Prompt engineering is all about having a conversation with a machine based on a ‘prompt’ where it will respond with relevant information and requested actions. The key essence is the crafting of the right questions to help guide the Large Language Models (LLMs) to generate the desired outcomes.  Why prompt engineering is becoming crucial is the ability to harness the power of computing to get answers which are generated at the drop of a hat, and with a lot of details as well.

Prompt Engineering: Is it an art or science? Or both?

Let’s understand Prompt engineering more.

Well, it is the practice of designing and refining prompts—questions or instructions—to elicit specific responses from AI models. More closely, it’s interface between human intent and machine output.

We are already leveraging a lot of Prompt Engineering in our day to day lives

  • Text-based models (ChatGPT)
  • Image generators (like Dall-E)
  • Code generators (GitHub Copilot)

Useful Approaches for better output

While there are multiple ways to articulate the prompt, I came across a simple yet interesting model to fine tune the prompt from a user perspective.

It is based on the "5W+1H" approach, which talks about crafting the prompt considering all the Ws and H in mind to be able to give the LLM the right context to traverse all the tokens towards a meaningful outcome.

The 5W+1H Approach

Image 1: The 5W+1H Approach

What Skills are needed for Prompt Engineering?

Prompt engineering is an amalgamation of both technical and non-technical skills.

Skills of a Prompt Engineer

Image 2: Skills of a Prompt Engineer

Relevance in Today’s tech driven world

As AI continues its footprint across all sectors, some of the areas there prompt have started making an immediate impact are the customer service bots.

Some of the popular airlines have already deployed chatbots for handling customer queries. While I happened to get my queries answered through an interaction with chatbots lately, this seem to gain more accuracy as the inputs and training of the models ‘learn’ more over the period. One important aspect is that these bots are already helping with optimizing the support cost by around 30%. However, the key is a well-crafted prompt that will help the bot to respond with the right and relevant information and reducing the cycle time in the process.

Prompt engineering is indeed crucial in an AI-powered world. Its importance will only continue to amplify.

Towards a bold new future

As AI models become complex and get leveraged by applications around us, the need for an effective communication with them becomes more and more important. Also, with the advent of tools that will simplify technology, the role of prompt engineers will gain more importance towards building, refining, and defining the right interfaces to augment human capabilities and democratize the use of AI.

As Stephen Hawking said. “Success in creating AI would be the biggest event in human history.”  As AI and more specifically generative AI becomes more advanced, prompt engineering will keep playing a critically important role.

That of augmenting human productivity and creativity by establishing an increasingly more seamless connect between the man and machine.

At Infogain, we are looking forward to see how this bold new world shapes up and also help you get there.

About the Author

Vatsalya Jain

Vatsalya Jain is the Vice President – Engineering at Infogain and has 24+ years of experience in the industry. At Infogain, he leads the delivery teams who work for customers on large scale programs on data and analytics. He comes in with a strong background in Product Engineering Services and has led large scale digital transformation engagements of 400+ team members across multiple locations worldwide. Vatsalya is a strong proponent of having a consultative approach and loves interacting with customers to understand and solve the business problems. He is also a passionate people leader and has a hands-on leadership style of working closely with the team members. He is a frequent speaker on Data Engineering, Product Management and Leadership at national conclaves and panel events.