Unlocking GPT-4's Potential: OpenAI's Guide to Mastering Prompt Engineering

OpenAI has published a guide to Prompt Engineering, which offers six strategies for getting better responses from their GPT language models, particularly GPT-4.


  • The guide outlines six key strategies for prompt engineering:
    • Write clear instructions.
    • Provide reference text.
    • Split complex tasks into simpler subtasks.
    • Give the model time to "think".
    • Use external tools.
    • Test changes systematically.
  • Each strategy includes specific tactics and examples for how to implement them.
  • Some of the tactics leverage the Chat API's "system message" parameter to control the model's behavior or provide it with additional context.
  • The guide also suggests using external tools and integrating the model with other systems for more complex tasks.
  • Testing changes systematically is crucial to ensure that the prompts are actually improving the model's output.
  • OpenAI is not the only provider offering prompt engineering tips; similar guides are available from Microsoft and Google.


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GitHub's Request for Prompt Tips Triggers Engineering Debate

The key takeaway is that "prompt engineering" has gone through ups and downs in perception, with many developers poking fun at it, but it still has value if done properly. GitHub's request for tips on prompt engineering sparked jokes about it not being real engineering, but also some legitimate guidance.