One of the big trends in employee learning and development heading into 2024 is the growing importance and potential of generative AI.
According to some estimates, 60 percent of workers will receive training on prompt engineering next year. For managers, trainers and HR professionals who have only recently become acquainted with or even aware of generative AI, this can be a head-spinning revelation.
First, recall that generative AI refers to a subset of artificial intelligence technology that can be used to create (i.e., “generate”) different kinds of content. That content could include anything from images to blog posts to work instructions to letters and much, much more.
While generative AI in its current forms is not yet ready to completely supplant human labor, it can be effectively leveraged to take on a lot of the mundane and tedious tasks that often suck up so much of employees’ days.
What Are Generative AI Prompts?
Generative AI is not so generative that it spontaneously creates content by anticipating the needs of its human masters. Instead, the humans operating generative AI tools need to provide instructions to let the tools know what to do.
These instructions are what are called “prompts.”
Why Does Training on Generative AI Prompts Matter?
The concept of a generative AI prompt sounds pretty simple, but there really is a bit of an art to creating good prompts.
A prompt needs to set appropriate guidelines and guardrails to ensure the user gets the kind of output they’re expecting. It’s not enough—and is, in fact, a waste of time—to just ask generative AI tools to repeat a process over and over again.
For example, instead of telling a generative AI tool to “create a presentation on data security,” a prompt should include information on who the target audience is, what the specific training needs are, the length of the presentation, what the tone of the presentation should be, etc.
Tips for Generative AI Prompt Training
- Develop a structured training program, including both theoretical concepts and hands-on practical exercises, allowing workers to understand the underlying principles of prompt engineering.
- Leverage real-world project assignments, allowing workers to apply what they learn in training in practical scenarios.
- Promote continuous learning, offering ongoing training resources and updates on the latest developments in prompt engineering and generative AI overall.
While some employers may have only just recently learned about the power of generative AI, it’s predicted that next year a sizeable majority of workers will be receiving training on generative AI prompts—the instructions that drive generative AI’s output.
These skills are increasingly crucial in a high-tech business environment, and organizations that feel behind the curve should take steps quickly to catch up.
Lin Grensing-Pophal is a Contributing Editor at HR Daily Advisor.