In a previous blog, we looked into the origins of the OpenAI company and the different tools it has developed since it began operating. Now, we will cover one tool more specifically–ChatGPT.
Whether you are using this tool for the first time or you are already familiar with it, this article will shed some light on how to maximise its use for more effective results. But before we jump right into the steps on how to use ChatGPT, we will give you some context about this tool and what kind of tasks it can help you with.
First things first, ChatGPT is an AI language model developed by the company OpenAI. It understands written instructions and creates text that resembles the way humans write.
Since it has been trained using a large dataset of human-generated text, it can easily and accurately craft its answers. Similar to AI chatbots, ChatGPT can assist you with a wide range of tasks, including content generation, summarisation, data extraction, translation, sentiment analysis, and many more.
Thanks to its training on a large dataset and advanced language processing capabilities, it understands the context of the queries and accurately crafts its answers.
This makes it a powerful tool for enhancing digital communication through the automation of text-based tasks.
Getting Started with ChatGPT
ChatGPT’s capabilities go beyond those of a search engine. Because it works on a prompt-completion basis, users have the flexibility to request the model to complete tasks, in addition to asking questions.
To start using ChatGPT, you will first need to sign up. For easy purposes, we will explain how to use this tool with a free account.
Creating an account
Visit chat.openai.com to access the home page and click “Sign up”. There, you will have to type your email address and create a password. Optionally, you can also choose to log in via your Google or Microsoft account.
In case you opt for the first option, you will have to verify your account, fill in the required fields, and provide a valid mobile number. They will then send a verification code via text. Once you have completed this step, you are all set!
While the free version covers most tasks, it is good to an extent. If you want to upgrade your account to a ChatGPT Plus membership, you can do so whenever you want! Simply click on the button in the bottom left corner that says “Upgrade” and follow the instructions. It is important to note though, that the Plus membership is $20/month (which is around £16).
This type of account will help you unlock different benefits such as faster and more detailed responses, and access to the latest features, including other OpenAI tools.
Best practices and tactics for writing prompts
The creation process with ChatGPT is quite straightforward, as you give the model instructions for your desired tasks. However, do not underestimate the power of prompt engineering. The way you formulate your prompts is the key to successful results.
To maximise ChatGPT’s potential, we have listed the best practices and a few tactics when writing your prompts.
While it is true that the model can help you with an extensive list of tasks, if there is any task that we guarantee you it can’t help with is mind reading. So, write clear instructions stating your requirements or questions to help ChatGPT understand your needs. That way, it can help you craft a relevant answer.
For instance, if you are looking for some cooking inspiration, specify which type of cuisine you are interested in getting ideas about: “Give me 10 different examples of typical Mexican dishes.”
Ask for sources or references
Something to be aware of is that language models can provide fake information, especially when it comes to esoteric topics. That is why it is important to review the veracity of its answers first.
If you want ChatGPT to provide answers supported by research, explicitly ask the model to use a reference text or citations. For more peace of mind, it would not hurt to double-check the links and information, as well!
For example, let’s say you are looking for the nutritional benefits of avocado. To ensure that ChatGPT is providing trustworthy information, you can ask: “List the nutritional benefits of avocado. Please provide me with reputable sources.”
Split complex tasks into simpler subtasks
Complex tasks are prone to have a higher error rate. So, try to break your prompt down into different parts for more accurate results. You can often turn a complex task into a series of simpler steps. This way, the outputs of earlier tasks are used to build the inputs for the subsequent ones, streamlining the workflow.
For example, to handle several tasks with different requirements, you can sort them based on their types first. This involves creating fixed groups and using specific instructions for each group. This method breaks down tasks into smaller stages, reducing errors by focusing only on the needed instructions for each step.
Iterate and refine
If you are not happy with the first response you receive, refine your prompt or ask follow-up questions. Try experimenting with different prompt phrasings and approaches to see which is the most effective way to communicate your needs to ChatGPT.
Use different wording and test which one gives back the best results. For instance, suppose you want to know more about the famous Mexican celebration of Día de Muertos. You can formulate your prompt in different ways:
- Question: “What is Día de Muertos about?”
- Statement: “Discuss the traditions involved in Día de Muertos.”
- Instruction: “List the top 5 characteristics of Día de Muertos.”
Depending on which words you use in your prompt, you can obtain completely different outputs. For more specific results, use adjectives within your instructions.
For example, if you are looking for cocktail ideas, you can narrow down your search by writing: “Give me sweet Tequila-based cocktail ideas.”
ChatCPT’s outputs are constantly improving in accuracy and precision as users provide more context, which brings us to the next point. In many cases, it is helpful to not only tell but to also show the model what you want. Adding examples to your prompts can help communicate patterns or distinctions. Overall, it gives ChatGPT a more clear idea of what you are looking for.
Set the desired format
If there is a certain format or style you want for the output, make sure to specify it in your prompt. This can be especially helpful for tasks such as language translation or text summarisation.
Limit response length
Whether you want a long or short answer, ChatGPT can help you with either. You can determine the length of its output by asking the model to provide you with an answer under those requirements.
You can specify the length of the output in terms of words, sentences, paragraphs, bullet points, and many other ways. However, establishing an exact word count length is not always reliable or executed with high precision. Instead, try opting for a specific number of paragraphs or bullet points.
For example: “Summarise the following text in 3 paragraphs.”
Hopefully, this article has given you more clarity on how to use ChatGPT, and how to enhance your prompts for more effective results. Visit our AI Hub to stay informed about the latest digital marketing and AI trends!