ChatGPT and tools as it made AI accessible to the masses. We can now get all kinds of answers on almost any subject imaginable. These robots can offer sonnets, code, philosophy, etc.
However, while you can just type whatever you want into ChatGPT and get it across, there are ways to get more interesting and useful results from the bot. This “rapid engineering” becomes a specialist skill in its own right.
Sometimes all it takes is a few extra words or an extra line of instruction and you can get ChatGPT responses that are a level above what everyone else sees – and we’ve included several examples below.
For the purposes of this guide, we tested these prompts with GPT-4: the latest version of ChatGPT at the time of writing, but only available to certain users. However, they should also work fine with older versions of ChatGPT.
Get your answers in tabular form
ChatGPT can give you answers in tabular form if you ask. This is especially useful for getting information or creative ideas. For example, you can table meal ideas and ingredients, or game ideas and equipment, or the days of the week and how they are pronounced in a few different languages.
Using follow-up prompts and natural language, you can instruct ChatGPT to make changes to the tables it has drawn and even output them to a standard format that another program can understand ( such as Microsoft Excel).
Output the text in the style of your favorite author
With some careful instruction, you can take ChatGPT out of its rather boring, down-to-earth default tone and into something much more interesting, like your favorite author’s style, perhaps.
You might opt for the searing simplicity of an Ernest Hemingway or Raymond Carver story, for example, or the lyrical rhythm of a Shakespeare play, or the density of a Dickens novel. The end results don’t come close to the genius of the authors themselves, but it’s another way to be more creative with the result you get.
Set limits on the answers you get
ChatGPT can really impress when restricted to work inside, so don’t hesitate to tell the bot to limit its responses to a certain word count or a certain number of paragraphs.
It can be condensing information from four paragraphs into one, or even asking for answers with words of seven characters or less (just to keep it simple). If ChatGPT isn’t tracking your answers correctly, you can correct it and it will try again.
Keep your audience in mind
Another way to change how ChatGPT responds to you is to tell it who its audience is. You could have seen the videos in which complex topics are explained to people with different levels of understanding, and it works in a similar way.
For example, you can tell ChatGPT that you are talking to a group of 10 year olds or an audience of entrepreneurs and it will respond accordingly. This works well for generating multiple outputs on the same theme.