A new type of job has become more prominent amid the AI boom, according to Bloomberg: a “prompt engineer.”
And one job listing puts the salary range from $175,000 to $335,000 — with only “basic” coding skills required.
The “prompt engineer” job requires someone to “speak” with a program such as Google’s Bard or OpenAI’s ChatGPT and try to convince it to respond in certain ways, such as convincing it not to say embarrassing things or reveal trade secrets about how it operates, per The Washington Post.
This job has become relevant with the rise of text-generating bots that have become available to the wider public.
The job “is not a science… It’s ‘let’s poke the bear in different ways and see how it roars back,'” said Shane Steinert-Threlkeld, an assistant professor at the University of Washington who studies the language technology behind tools like ChatGPT, told the Post.
In 2022, ChatGPT burst onto the scene as one of the first widely accessible generative AI text bots. It could write songs and essays; it stirred panic in academia. And it pushed other companies that had been working on the technology (Google, Meta) into action.
It also put photos generated from text prompts into the spotlight, which users can do on programs like Stable Diffusion. Those prompts can go on for a couple of sentences for many images and are highly specific.
But the text generators are supposed to be able to respond to what the average person might ask, and, ideally, avoid gaffes. Riley Goodside, a prompt engineer at Scale AI, a machine learning company, told the Post that one of the things he does is when GPT-3 makes an error, he talks to the robot and helps it realize it made a mistake by walking it through its own “reasoning” step-by-step.
The work can also involve forcing such systems into making mistakes, which then allow them to be corrected within the system — i.e., figuring out what makes things like ChatGPT begin to emit nonsense. This is also known in the industry as “hallucinating.”
One job listing involves talking to a robot for long periods called a “Prompt Engineer and Librarian,” from the AI research company Antrhopic. Besides a salary of up to $335,000 and relocation help for moving to the San Francisco area, the role requires only “basic programming skills,” such as writing programs with Python.
Klarity, an AI document company, and Boston Children’s Hospital also have similar AI roles open — both are looking for people to help them figure out how to use AI in their businesses (and both ask for some engineering experience).