AI and How to Prompt: Simplified Guide

Does AI generate low quality content? The answer is both yes and no. It all relies on the quality of the input – so here is our simplified guide to AI and how to produce higher quality content using it.

Simplified Guide to AI

There is no doubt that AI tools have become much more widespread in the last two years. With many platforms integrating more AI-based tools, as well as free-to-use AI software such as Chat GPT being easily accessible to many.

Although it can be great that AI is easily accessible to many and can be a useful tool to help automate some tasks or enhance work, there has also been an extreme increase in low quality content posted on platforms such as LinkedIn and X (formally Twitter).

Does AI generate low quality content?

The answer is both yes and no.

It all relies on the quality of the input.

It’s not just low-quality content that can be produced, but also content that could be misleading, spreading misinformation, or just completely false.

So, people must be aware of how to use AI properly.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

What is AI?

In simple terms, Artificial intelligence (AI) is a technology that enables computers to think like humans to a certain extent. This allows the computer systems to perform complex tasks that previously only a person could produce. AI is built using machine learning and other techniques, which helps AI to become more accurate with more data inputs over time.

Machine Learning (ML)

What is Machine Learning?

Machine Learning (ML) is a branch of Artificial Intelligence (AI). Machine Learning focuses on using data and algorithms to enable AI to imitate the way that humans learn, which helps to improve its accuracy over time.

AI Benefits

What are the benefits of using AI

AI can be a really useful tool to streamline or automate repetitive tasks, save time, improve productivity, and in many cases can eliminate bias.

AI is already being used within a variety of technologies, some examples might include:

  • Many modern chatbots often use AI.
  • Virtual assistants, such as Siri, Alexa, etc.
  • Producing or refining written content.
  • Creating photos and graphics.
AI replacing jobs

Is AI going to replace my job?

Although AI is going to significantly affect the workforce, most jobs and industries are only partially exposed to automation and are thus more likely to be complemented rather than substituted by AI.

For a large part of jobs, it is likely that rather than be replaced by AI, people will need to learn to adapt alongside it.

The good news is that advancements in AI have already and are likely to continue to create many new job opportunities – which is why it’s important to understand how to use it effectively.

Disadvantages of AI

What are the disadvantages of AI?

The main disadvantages to AI come when it is not being used properly, usually due to insufficient understanding of what it is and how to use it.

Although AI technology tends to produce results to tasks that previously only humans could create, AI still has a lack of emotion and creativity. At the end of the day, it isn’t a human being, so it lacks emotional intelligence.

Humans have the ability to be emotionally intelligent by interpreting subtle cues, understanding the context behind situations and behaviours, and adapting how they respond in accordance with those situations – AI is not able to possess the same ability to do this.

Another disadvantage to AI being widely available is the influx of low-quality content that has been created and distributed online. This can be noticeable on websites, and social media sites particularly X (Twitter) and LinkedIn. In many cases, the content produced can be misleading or completely false.

To a lot of people, detecting low-quality AI content is not very difficult – Google has even produced major algorithm updates to crack down on low-quality, AI-generated content produced to try and cheat search engine rankings.

So it’s important to get this right, particularly if you’re trying to use AI to help enhance your professional work.

AI Prompts

What are AI prompts?

In short, a prompt is what you input into an AI system to get it to generate your desired response.

Prompts can vary in detail, length, and context provided for example someone who is trying to come up with features for a banking app might use the prompt “Add AI to the banking app that I’m designing.”

Although this is an example of an AI prompt, it is not a good prompt as it is vague with no clear context or direction to the prompt – which means you would be likely to receive low quality and inaccurate responses.

A better alternative might be along the lines of “Give me five different options of features that use AI to provide personalised financial insights to users of a mobile banking app, and provide an example with each option”.

The importance of prompting

The flip side to AI becoming widely available to the general public, is that it’s providing people with the opportunity to learn about AI and prompting, thus helping to improve their skills and the quality of their work over time.

However, enhancing skills around AI means people need to be aware of quality content, how AI works, and how to prompt properly – as opposed to using AI mindlessly.

According to Microsoft’s New Future of Work Report, Chat GPT-4 achieved 80% accuracy with no finetuning or advanced prompting techniques. Incorporating advance prompting strategies boosted Chat GPT-4’s performance to 90% – highlighting the importance of learning how to prompt effectively.

Prompting AI

How to Prompt AI effectively

Writing effective prompts can require a lot of effort, feedback and refining – this might include multiple iterations of modification and testing prompts/ responses.

Microsoft discovered that there are several ways people can improve the quality and accuracy of their AI prompts, and thus the responses they generate:

  • Minor changes, such as capitalisation and spacing can result in drastically different AI outputs.
  • The order to prompt elements, such as sections, examples or additional words can significantly impact accuracy.
  • Fine-tuning with human feedback can dramatically improve AI’s ability to follow prompt instructions.
  • As people learn to communicate with AI, they see improved results.
  • Training on how to prompt can lead to greater productivity gains from AI tools.

Other simple rules you need to consider when using AI tools:

  • Be specific – The more specific you are in your prompts, the more accurate and personalised your answers will be.
  • Provide useful context – Provide enough background for the AI to understand the scenario you’re writing about, but avoid information that is unnecessary. If there is any additional information that might be useful for AI tools to know, then it’s best you provide context in order to improve the quality of the response.
  • Provide a style guide – When you provide low quality prompts with no style guide to AI tools such as Chat GPT, Chat GPT can be known to add unnecessary and over-the-top adjectives, making the responses seem ingenuine. Many criticise people using these types of responses on social networking sites, or in written content as they are often seen as long and over-the-top while providing little substance or useful information to anyone.
  • Feed examples of your writing – If you’re looking to produce more content that is in the specific style of your writing, feed your AI tools with examples of your work so that it understands your writing style.
  • Provide feedback – Don’t hesitate to refine your prompts based on the responses you get, suggest improvements or feedback and get it to refined.
The good news

Prompting is becoming easier

Although it might seem difficult to grasp for new adopters of AI, the good news is that constructing effective prompts is becoming easier with time.

According to Microsoft’s Future of Work Report, prompt optimisation and multi-step optimisation techniques can create higher-performing outcomes and responses – so don’t be afraid to use multiple prompts and responses in order to refine your work.

Overreliance on AI

Are we facing the danger of becoming over reliant on AI? 

Appropriate reliance on AI is a key challenge in human-AI-Integration.

Overreliance on AI happens when people accept incorrect AI outputs. This could be due to familiarity with the task, AI literacy, automation and confirmation bias, or a lack of due diligence.

When overreliance on AI occurs, this leads to poorer performance than either a human acting alone, or AI acting alone.

This is why it’s important to take a human-centred approach to AI. People and AI can be seen as partners that balance out each other’s weaknesses, this means that human input, evaluation, or editing needs to be present in order to ensure work produced remains high quality and factually correct.