Prompt Crafting: A New Skill for a New Era of Content Creation

Ivan Caramello | March 06, 2023


(Image created with Midjourney)

The Role of AI in the Content Creation and Publication  

Artificial Intelligence (AI) models that can generate novel content based on human input, such as GPT-3, Codex, ChatGPT, DALL-E, and Stable Diffusion, have gained popularity in recent years. These models are based on transformer model deep learning and use pre-learned information from image and text processing to create new content in latent spaces. Although the results are impressive, they also raise questions about the future of creativity and the human role in the creative process.   Yet, the potential of these models used to create meaningful and impactful work depends on the skills and intentions of the person using them.

The question of whether AI-generated content is "true" art or creativity is a new topic of debate that has existed for centuries—what we call art—and continues to be a contentious issue. While these outputs may sometimes rival traditional content in terms of quality and effectiveness, it is important to recognize that these models are just tools created and used by humans. As photography may outperform painting in realism and efficiency but requires its own set of skills and creative vision to use effectively, the same is true for AI-generated content.  The true value of these tools lies in the hands of those who use them.

The practice of using these AI models to generate content, known as prompt crafting, involves more than giving a short text description to a machine and letting it do the work. It requires a skilled craftsman to communicate with the machine and use its strengths and weaknesses to achieve the desired results. This involves a combination of knowledge, experience, and creativity, as the prompt crafter must understand how to use the tool effectively and apply their own artistic vision to the generated content.


Photography is an example of an easy-to-use, hard-to-master a skill, useful for both professionals and artists (image created with Midjourney)

Why Your Content Strategy Needs Prompt Crafting

It is easy to underestimate the effort and expertise required in prompt crafting, especially when compared to more traditional crafts that may need more tangible skill and physical effort. Yet, this perception is a narrow understanding of the different efforts required for different crafts to achieve the same result. As photography requires its own set of skills and creative vision, despite its ability to depict the world with minimal effort, prompt crafting also requires a unique set of skills and vision to create meaningful and impactful content using AI tools.

While AI models may be able to generate images, texts, and code with ease, it takes a skilled prompt crafter to use these tools effectively and create outputs that successfully deliver the specific requirements of the user. This requires a deep understanding of the tool’s capabilities and limitations, as well as the ability to apply one’s own artistic vision and creative problem-solving skills to the generated content. In this way, prompt crafting can be seen as a form of craft or art, requiring its own set of skills and expertise.


Generic corporate images can be easily generated with these models, but specific results require more work (image created with Midjourney)

For example, it may be easy to generate a generic image of a celebratory office scene using an image generation model, but it becomes much more challenging to generate a specific office setting with brand colors and specific individuals depicted in a specific way. While AI models may be able to generate functional code, it takes a skilled prompt crafter to create code that meets specific requirements, is efficient, and is compatible with a particular technology stack. The task of prompt crafting becomes complex when meeting specific requirements in terms of artistic vision and professional standards. It takes knowledge, experience, and creativity to use AI tools in an efficient and effective manner to achieve specific objectives.

It is important to recognize that these tools are not a replacement for human creativity (or other tools for expressing it), but rather a new way for humans to express and augment their creative ideas. By understanding the role of AI in the creative process and responsibly using it, we can unlock its full potential and create a bright future for both humans and machines in the world of art and creativity.


Generative models are better used as tools to help artists, not replacements for them (image created with Midjourney with Midjourney)

Drawbacks of AI Models

One of the main concerns about using AI in the creative process is its potential to replace human jobs and creativity. While it is true that AI can automate certain tasks and may even outperform humans in certain areas, it is important to recognize that it is not a replacement for human creativity. AI models are tools that require human input and guidance, and it is the combination of human and machine capabilities that can truly lead to innovative and impactful work.

In addition, the use of AI in the creative process opens new possibilities and avenues for human expression and creativity that were previously not possible. By understanding and leveraging the unique capabilities of AI, humans can enhance and augment their own creative ideas in ways that would not be possible without the use of these tools.


Digital artists are already used to employ multiple tools and skillsets, both traditional and digital, to achieve the best possible results (image created with Midjourney)

Prompt Crafting Can Change the Way People Work

Just as photography is a tool used with other techniques in the visual arts to create commercially useful images, prompt crafting, and AI-generated content should be seen as tools that can increase productivity and quality when used in conjunction with other techniques. For example, artists who are skilled in both text-to-image models and traditional digital arts can speed up the creative process by using AI-generated content as a starting point and then refining the images with more traditional techniques. Similarly, programmers can use prompt crafting to generate usable code and communicate requirements to models, but they should also be able to evaluate the quality of the generated code, integrate it with known solutions, and produce creative ways to combine both AI-generated code and traditional solutions to avoid excessive repetitive work.

Writers can also benefit from using augmented writing tools such as spell checkers and smart text analyzers, as well as tools that help with summarization, drafting, and note-taking to become more efficient in their work. By understanding the unique capabilities and limitations of AI-generated content and using it as a tool alongside traditional techniques, creatives in various fields can enhance and augment their work in meaningful ways. In fact, generative models are used to revise this text.

It is also important to inform those who use these tools outside of a professional environment about their features: just as the Internet is a powerful tool that can help or harm students during their education, the same is true for generative models. Many specialists from the education area are worried about the consequences of these models for their students: while Math teachers are used to students sneaking into calculators or using the Internet to solve complex problems, this is a new scenario for teachers of English or Literature.


It is important to understand how generative models can influence education so it can help students learn rather than trivialize their work (image created with Midjourney)

As with the Internet, the best solution is not to ban it entirely, but rather to teach students (and other laypeople) how to make the best use of the modern technologies available. For example, it is important to understand that these models are not looking for well-sourced information on the Internet but, rather to, “complete” texts based on other connections. ChatGPT provides an intuitive “iterative” interface, in which it is possible to ask follow-up questions and check the results, instead of merely taking the first output at its face value. This still means that educators must instruct their students about these tools and prepare new ways to evaluate their knowledge, but this often happens whenever developing new technologies related to information access.


The future of AI in the creative process depends on how people use these tools responsibly and ethically. By understanding the limitations and potential impacts of AI, we can ensure that it is used in a way that benefits both humans and their systems. This includes considering the potential impacts on employment and education, and the importance of maintaining the unique qualities of human creativity and expression—expanded with new tools and skills that help and enhance these experiences rather than replacing them. By approaching the use of AI generative tools in the creative process with these considerations in mind, we can create a bright future where humans can achieve even larger creative achievements if they learn to use these tools properly.

(Images in this blog post were created with Midjourney. The text was revised with ChatGPT.




"Don’t Ban ChatGPT in Schools. Teach With It":


This article was written by Ivan Caramello de Andrade, and reviewed by Marlon Weiss Hoffmann, Fernando Augusto Santos de Moraes, João Augusto Caleffi, and ChatGPT. 

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