a16z Podcast

Unlocking Creativity with Prompt Engineering

Steph Smith and Guy Parsons

Posted March 9, 2023

With every new technology, some jobs are lost while others are gained. People often focus on the former, but in this episode we chose to highlight the latter – a highly creative role that emerges alongside AI: the prompt engineer.

Until AI can close the loop of its own, each tool still requires a set of prompts. Just like a composer feeds an instrument the notes to play, a prompt engineer feeds an AI a map of what to produce. And if we know anything from music it’s that composing great music takes great skill!

In this episode we explore the emerging importance of prompting with Guy Parsons, the early learnings of how to do it effectively, and where this field might be going.

Will the prompt engineer be more like the highly sought after DevOps engineer, or a proficiency like Excel that you find on every resume? Listen in to hear Guy’s take.

Show Notes

0:00 – Introduction

01:49 – DALL-E 2 Prompt Book

05:29 – Parallel skills

06:51 – 80/20 prompting

10:16 – New ways of prompting

13:44 – Pulling the AI slot machine

18:09 – Comparing models

21:04 – Requested features

26:34 – Learning with AI

27:58 – Practical use cases

32:08 – A top 1% prompt engineer

36:17 – The most popular images