Whether AI lives up to the hype surrounding it will largely depend on good, fast engineering.
Rapid engineering is key to unlocking usable — and usable — output from generative AI, such as ChatGPT or its image-making counterpart DALL-E.
These AI tools use natural language processing so they can convert a user’s typed input into the desired output. But as many who have tried and tested can attest, creating input that is verbose and detailed enough to instruct the AI to comply with the command is a process that takes time to master.
Think of it like asking a colleague to write a biography of themselves. If you don’t give them a word count, style guide, or suggested tone of voice, you can’t expect their work to meet those requirements. The same goes for assistive AI. If the prompt – the text you enter into the interface – is unclear and leaves too much room for interpretation, repeat until you get the exact recipe that delivers the goods.
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As with all skills, rapid engineering requires practice. And when you see how quickly this technology is widely adopted, there are few experts. Only one AI company is currently offering free training.
A prompt engineering short course has been co-developed with OpenAI and is available through the DeepLearning.AI website. It is provided by OpenAI’s Isa Fulford along with none other than Andrew Ng, a well-known computer scientist who worked on AI at Google and Baidu before founding DeepLearning.AI.
In just an hour, Ng and Fulford outline best practices for prompt engineering and give participants hands-on experience with the OpenAI API. The introductory course is designed for developers, but no prior experience with AI is required, just a basic understanding of Python. And for developers who have already started tinkering with large language models, the course gives you the instructions you need to build your own chatbot.
The course is currently free, but this is only for a limited period of time. So now is a good time to grab this opportunity and learn what makes this tech tool tick.
Some developers may be reluctant to engage in generative AI systems, seeing them as a threat to their employment. But what’s clear from the results so far is that AI needs diligent human oversight to be trusted, and those who can work alongside this technology will be our best guides to its responsible use.
As with any digital transformation, upskilling will be key to the effective rollout of assistive AI technologies, and those already trained in their use will be in high demand.
These tools are still being refined for use in many industries and workplaces, and it is not yet known how widespread the applications will be.
In many ways, AI is still an emerging technology, so you’re not likely to encounter a job specification that requires years of rapid engineering experience. But those who keep their skills up-to-date demonstrate a commitment to professional development that appeals to potential employers. And if a company’s broader strategy has AI in its sights, they’ll want to take those with the know-how on that journey.
Check out these features now available with companies with AI on their roadmap.
Microsoft has been one of OpenAI’s biggest backers since its inception and has invested billions in AI development.
Dublin is looking for a full-stack software engineer for its Word and Editor team, which uses techniques such as machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence to support content generation within its 365 software suite, which includes Word, Outlook and Teams .
International consultancy Accenture aims to be the go-to agency other companies turn to to find out how best to apply advanced technologies such as AI. It is currently looking for technology strategy consultants who can help develop applications that take disruptive trends into account and put them to work “capably and carefully” in Munich and Düsseldorf.
In Dublin, Accenture is looking for a research engineer to join its BioInnovation team, which is exploring applications of AI in healthcare and life sciences. This hands-on role involves the design and implementation of AI research prototypes and requires someone with the skills and capacity to take responsibility for the entire technology stack.
Apple is an early pioneer of assistive AI through its personal assistant in our pockets, Siri. It is currently looking for a fluent Danish speaker to join its AI and ML team.
The job involves listening to and transcribing audio files to evaluate Siri’s response and language use, demonstrating the value of human oversight in improving assistive technologies. The position can take place in either Barcelona or Cork and comes with a full relocation package for the right candidate.
For more career opportunities, check out the House of Talent job board