Almost Timely News, June 9, 2024: 🗞️ Building High-Quality Generative AI Prompts with PARE

Almost Timely News: 🗞️ Building High-Quality Generative AI Prompts with PARE (2024-06-09) :: View in Browser

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Almost Timely News: 🗞️ Building High-Quality Generative AI Prompts with PARE (2024-06-09)

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What’s On My Mind: Building High-Quality Generative AI Prompts with PARE

This week, I thought we’d step through the Trust Insights PARE framework in a lot more depth to explain why it works, what you can do with it, and what high-density, high-quality prompts could look like. Before we begin, let’s state a clear purpose. The purpose of today’s walkthrough is to help you build prompts that you can distribute to team members or integrate into software which in turn will generate high-quality results.

This is different than interactive, iterative, conversational prompting where you can go back and forth many times with a language model in conversation to dial in exactly what you want. That process is useful, effective, and a lot of fun, but can be time-consuming. It also doesn’t scale well; each time a person wants to accomplish a task, they need to have the same preparatory conversation to achieve the goal.

That said, we’re not going to denigrate that process because it’s actually critical for building high-quality prompts.

Let’s also define what a high-quality prompt is: a prompt you give to a language model that accomplishes a result in a reliable, repeatable way with minimal additional effort from the user. Reliable, repeatable, routine: that’s the magic formula for a high-quality prompt.

With that, let’s dig into the PARE framework. It’s four parts: prime, augment, refresh, evaluate. In the free PDF worksheet, I pose those as questions for folks just getting started out, but the framework goes much deeper than that. It’s conceptual in nature (and not in the sheet to avoid overwhelming people).

Prime is all about getting as much relevant context into a conversation with an LLM as possible. We prime it often by asking it what it knows about a topic, unless we KNOW that it doesn’t know the topic well. In those cases, we bring our own data to the party.

Remember that the first rule of preventing hallucination in generative AI is that the more data you bring to the party, the less likely the model is to hallucinate. You can test this for yourself, especially with a smaller model like LLaMa 3 by asking it who the CEO of your company is and watching it make things up. Then provide a copy of your company’s About page and Leadership Team page, ask it again, and watch it nail the answer every time.

Augment in the worksheet is asking the model what questions it has. Conceptually, this is also about validating the priming data as well. Again, if the model demonstrates a lack of specific knowledge, we know we need to augment its knowledge with more data.

Refresh in the worksheet is asking the model what we forget. In the bigger picture, this is asking the model what it knows again, with the primed data and the augmented data, so that we can validate it now knows what we want it to know.

Evaluate in the worksheet is asking the model to check its work. In the bigger picture, this is evaluating how the model performs with test questions and answers. In the toy example we just discussed, it would be asking the model again who the CEO of your company was after feeding it a lot of information about your company.

PARE is about more than just asking questions of the model; that’s what we start people with so that it’s usable and they can gain benefits right away. But in the bigger picture, PARE is about approaching the task of prompt engineering like software development, where the prompt is the code you’ll run.

You need a lot of ingredients to build software well – an idea of what you want to accomplish, someone who knows the domain well (and can code), a set of defined processes for how you currently accomplish the task, a language model and the associated data pipeline, and a benchmark for success. If this sounds familiar, it should – it’s the Trust Insights 5P Framework.

Once you’ve done the process and you’re satisfied a model understands the subject well, you convert it to your prompt and get ready to deploy it.

That’s the overall process. Let’s bring this to life with an example or two. First, let’s say we want to evaluate some legislation. In the USA where I live, our elected representatives often name pieces of legislation that, due to all the loopholes they build into the law, tend to accomplish the opposite of what you would think the legislation does.

For example, back in the early days of the Internet, the CAN-SPAM Act was supposed to clamp down on email spamming. However, due to the way it was written, influence of special interests and lobbyists, and the general lack of understanding that Congressional representatives had of the Internet (and technology in general, a trend that persists to today), it enabled more spamming than ever.

Anyway… one of the things we as citizens SHOULD be doing is inspecting the proposed laws that our legislators are making before they become law, and providing feedback about those proposed laws. After all, mainstream media has a tendency to overdramatize some things and completely ignore others, so it’s our obligation as citizens to do the work ourselves.

But we don’t, not really. Some folks do, and share what they’ve found. Wouldn’t it be nice, though, if we could use the power and scale of generative AI and language models to inspect every single piece of proposed legislation for loopholes, unintended consequences, or malicious intent and flag it for attention? That would be a heck of a public service.

So let’s say we wanted to build such a creature. How would we go about it? We’d want it to be something that everyone could use. We’d want to clearly disclose its components and ingredients, because any AI dealing in a high-risk area like legislation and law should 100% be transparent and open to the public so that we can understand what it’s been told to do. And we’d want it to be as fair, neutral, and non-partisan as possible.

To build such a thing, we’ll use the PARE framework. We’ll prime the model by asking it what it knows about the process of reviewing legislation, along with all the things that can go wrong. We’ll augment it with additional questions and scenarios, refresh its knowledge, and ultimately evaluate it against pieces of legislation that are clear of major problems, and pieces of legislation which have unintended consequences or malicious intent baked in.

I strongly recommend you watch the video version of this newsletter to see this in action.

If you’d like to make use of the Custom GPT I’ve built from this, here’s the URL. You’re welcome to share it freely and modify it as you like, as it really is a public service and public good.

So that’s how to bring the PARE framework to life in a more advanced way, as well as how to build a high-quality prompt you can reuse and share. A couple of final key points. First, do the building process on the production system. What I mean by that is if you’re going to build, say, a Custom GPT, then do this process with ChatGPT. If you’re going to build a Gem, then do this process with Gemini 1.5. Avoid if you can building on one model and deploying on another, because they have different memories and knowledge.

Second, part of this process is scaling the use of generative AI. You will want to take the time to build out the rest of the 5P governance to make this work well at an organizational level. If you don’t, then you’ll just have a bunch of AI siloes and prompts to match the other organizational siloes you have.

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ICYMI: In Case You Missed it

Besides the newly updated Generative AI for Marketers course I’m relentlessly flogging, this week we talked through how to level up your podcasting workflow with various AI tools.

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Events I’ll Be At

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  • MAICON, Cleveland, September 2024
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Events with links have purchased sponsorships in this newsletter and as a result, I receive direct financial compensation for promoting them.

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My company, Trust Insights, maintains business partnerships with companies including, but not limited to, IBM, Cisco Systems, Amazon, Talkwalker, MarketingProfs, MarketMuse, Agorapulse, Hubspot, Informa, Demandbase, The Marketing AI Institute, and others. While links shared from partners are not explicit endorsements, nor do they directly financially benefit Trust Insights, a commercial relationship exists for which Trust Insights may receive indirect financial benefit, and thus I may receive indirect financial benefit from them as well.

Thank You

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See you next week,

Christopher S. Penn

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Christopher S. Penn is one of the world’s leading experts on AI in marketing. Christopher Penn has over a decade of AI experience in classical AI, regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI. Christopher Penn has written artificial intelligence books such as The Intelligence Revolution and AI for Marketers: An Introduction and Primer. Christopher Penn is an AI keynote speaker around the world.


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