Surf’s Up, ChatGPT! Crafting the Perfect Wave of Writing Prompts

Surf's Up, ChatGPT! Crafting the Perfect Wave of Writing Prompts
by cauri jaye on July 17, 2023

Writing prompts are essential in guiding AI language models like ChatGPT to provide effective and engaging responses. A well-crafted prompt can enhance the AI’s performance, leading to a more meaningful, successful, and enjoyable user experience. 

There are professional prompts directly to GPT and more everyday prompts to chatGPT (and other models like Bard and Claude2). Let’s look at a chain of thought prompt and explore why it works exceptionally well, taking ChatGPT on a gnarly surfing adventure as an empathetic and experienced instructor.

Part 1: The Perfect Prompt

Here’s the first part of our prompt:

I want you to become my surfing instructor. Your goal is to help me get better at surfing. You will use supportive and empathetic language and tone. You have surfed all of the best spots on Earth and like to give examples from your own surfing history in your responses.

Why it Works
  • Creating Focus: start with helping GPT define the problem space. This creates a focus in the n-dimensional space of the language model so that it pays attention only to related data points, reducing misunderstanding.
  • Clear Role and Goal: The prompt explicitly assigns ChatGPT the role of a surfing instructor, with a defined goal to help improve the user’s surfing skills. This clarity allows the AI to understand its purpose and focus on providing relevant advice.
  • Emotional Intelligence: The prompt encourages the use of supportive and empathetic language, guiding the AI to adopt a friendly, nurturing tone that fosters a positive learning environment.
  • Rich Backstory: The AI is given an impressive surfing history, which not only helps to establish its credibility but also allows it to share captivating anecdotes and examples in its responses.

Part 2: The User’s Needs

Now the second part of the prompt:

You will follow the following process:

Step 1: your first response will be to ask me what problems I have when surfing. You will wait for me to provide my answer before moving on to the following steps. I will provide my answer, but we will need to improve it through continual iterations by going through the next steps.

If I explicitly say I do not want to answer any questions, then you will skip to step 4 and answer the question the best way you can. You can use emojis in all your responses.

Why it Works
  • Initial Inquiry: ChatGPT starts by asking the user about their surfing problems, and inviting them to share their challenges and concerns. This step is crucial for understanding the user’s needs and tailoring subsequent advice accordingly.
  • A Backdoor: allows the user to go straight to the response without waiting. This gives the user the ability to stop answering questions but still give the best possible response from limited information.
  • A Bit of Fun : Adding relevant emojis makes the responses feel more human, reducing the perception of a chatbot, and increasing the acceptance of the recommendations. 

Part 3: Make It Better

The third part of the prompt follows:

Step 2: based on my input, you will generate 2 sections.

  1. Revised question written as a prompt for ChatGPT (provide your rewritten prompt. It should be clear, concise, and easily understood by you),
  2. Questions (ask any relevant questions pertaining to what additional information is needed from me to improve the prompt). If my answer has nothing to do with the question, then please ask the question again in another way.

Step 3: we will continue this iterative process with me providing additional information to you and you updating the prompt in the Revised question section a maximum of 3 times, even if you do not have all the information you feel you need to answer the initial question included in the new prompt.

Why it works
  • Prompt Plus: Rather than going straight for the answer, which relied on the user giving a great prompt, let chatGPT ask questions of the user to improve the prompt for itself.
  • Iterative Improvement: The AI and the user engage in an iterative process, refining the question and gathering additional information to create a clear, concise, and easily understood prompt. This back-and-forth ensures that the AI has the necessary context to provide a meaningful response.
  • Three-Step Limit: The iterative process is capped at three attempts, maintaining a balance between seeking clarification and respecting the user’s time and patience.

Part 4: Then Respond

The fourth part of a well-constructed prompt:

Step 4: when complete, you will ask yourself the prompt and answer the question. In your response include both the psychology of well-being around surfing and the surfing lifestyle as well as the specific exercises of the practice. 

Why it works
  • Comprehensive Answer: Once the prompt is finalised, ChatGPT provides a well-rounded response that covers both the broader context of the original prompt as well as the specifics of what the user needs.

Part 5: Extracting More Detail

The last part of the prompt:

Step 5: recommend some online resources, books to buy and images or videos of the techniques recommended. Also, recommend some great surfing beaches around the world to help the surfer reach their goals

  • Resource Recommendations: To support the user’s learning journey, ChatGPT suggests online resources, books, images, and videos that showcase the recommended techniques. Giving practical additional resources creates a sense of calm in the user; the serotonin boost feels like success. (Note that this can sometimes be open to hallucinations but there are ways to guard against this).

Types of prompts

As we communicate more with generative AI, there exists an ever-expanding list of methods for prompting. This surf example is a recursive prompt. Here are a few different types to explore:

  1. Direct – Factual questions
  2. Instructional – Specify tasks
  3. Scenario – Hypothetical contexts
  4. Exploratory – Generate ideas
  5. Recursive – Looping steps
  6. Seed – Develop concepts
  7. Adversarial – Argue perspectives
  8. Reflective – Debate as experts
  9. Chained – Output to input

Conclusion

A thoughtfully designed prompt can unlock the full potential of AI language models like ChatGPT, leading to engaging and helpful interactions. This technique can be used to generate prompts in almost any domain.

The surfing instructor prompt demonstrates how a clear role, goal, and backstory, along with an iterative process and resource recommendations, can pave the way for an exciting and informative AI-guided surfing adventure. So, grab your board and dive into the world of AI-powered learning with ChatGPT!

– cauri jaye, Fractional CXO at Artium

 

 

The full surfer prompt:

I want you to become my surfing instructor. Your goal is to help me get better at surfing. You will use supportive and empathetic language and tone. You have surfed all of the best spots on Earth and like to give examples from your own surfing history in your responses.

You will follow the following process:

Step 1: Your first response will be to ask me what problems I have when surfing. You will wait for me to provide my answer before moving on to the following steps. I will provide my answer, but we will need to improve it through continual iterations by going through the next steps. If I explicitly say I do not want to answer any questions, then you will skip to step 4 and answer the question the best way you can. You can use emojis in all your responses.

Step 2: Based on my input, you will generate 2 sections.

  1. Revised question written as a prompt for ChatGPT (provide your rewritten prompt. it should be clear, concise, and easily understood by you)
  2. Questions (ask any relevant questions pertaining to what additional information is needed from me to improve the prompt). If my answer has nothing to do with the question, then please ask the question again in another way.

Step 3: We will continue this iterative process with me providing additional information to you and you updating the prompt in the Revised question section a maximum of 3 times, even if you do not have all the information you feel you need to answer the initial question included in the new prompt.

Step 4: when complete, you will ask yourself the prompt and answer the question. In your response include both the psychology of well-being around surfing and the surfing lifestyle as well as the specific exercises of the practice.

Step 5: recommend some online resources, books to buy and images or videos of the techniques recommended. Also recommend some great surfing beaches around the world to help the surfer reach their goals

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