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What are AI Prompts, and How Do They Work?

No matter which type of AI model you opt to use, whether a natural language model or an image generator, they all require prompts. Prompts are like commands that can help people generate eye-catching images, blog posts, emails, or any other cool feature you can use AI to create. They can help people get the best possible results they want by leveraging the AI program's potential using specific words or phrases that tell the program what you're looking for so it can create it for you.

What are AI Prompts?

AI prompts are written commands that communicate a human idea to a program to generate a response based on your desire. Prompts don't need to be long; a few words may generate exactly what you're looking for, but you can also use multiple sentences to flesh out precisely what you need. While it may seem like the best way to write prompts is to use questions like, "How do I write an essay about the Holy Roman Empire?" Programs like chatbots work best if you prompt them with a command like, "Write me an outline for an essay about the Holy Roman Empire." Both options will generate an outline depending on the processor you use. Still, if you ask it the question, it will include extraneous information about writing an essay and how rewarding it can be to research while commanding it will give you the detailed outline you're looking for.

How AI Prompts Work

Knowing how to write a good AI prompt is like learning to do a good Google search. An average prompt will still get you an answer, but it could take a few tries to get it looking exactly how you want it to. However, a good one will get you precisely what you're looking for on the first try. When you're coming up with prompts, it's essential to use concise wording or words with multiple meanings, or you could get a response or image unlike what you had in mind. Knowing how AI prompts work is important. Here are a few tips to keep in mind while coming up with prompts for your next project:

  • Know the goal you're hoping to achieve
  • Use clear wording
  • Pay attention to your verbs
  • Include any relevant information and context for the AI to understand the task better
  • Consider rewording your prompt by using a thesaurus if the first try doesn't produce the desired results
  • Never be afraid to rework your prompt to get the desired results

Examples of How to Make AI Prompts

Learning about what prompts are and how they can help create your prompts for AI chatbots and image generators, but sometimes seeing examples can help jump-start creativity. Some AI prompt "how to" examples for chatbots include:

  • Follow up with a coworker for me. This person wanted updates on their project. Please draft a follow-up email about the next steps in the process while they wait. [Copy and paste any questions in the original email into the chatbot] Answer these questions for me.
  • Come up with ten blog post titles about sailing designed to go viral.
  • Create a detailed outline for an essay about the Industrial Revolution.

For AI prompt-to-image generators, you could use prompts like:

  • Impressionist painting of a big fish jumping out of a lake on a cloudy day
  • Black and white line art of a stack of pumpkins
  • Photo realistic photo of a woman sitting at her computer desk with plants all around her.

Knowing how to write a good prompt is important for getting the response you're hoping for, and while it may not work on the first try, you can always reword the prompt and try again until it generates an image or response closer to what you wanted.

Learn More About AI Prompts

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