Mon. Jun 24th, 2024

A New Course Teaches You How to Tap the Powers of ChatGPT and Put It to Work for You

Released in November 2022, ChatGPT gave us all a glimpse into the future world of AI–a sense of what the world will look like when chatbots can think and execute tasks on our behalf. There’s a good chance that you’ve already experimented loosely with ChatGPT, trying to test its strengths and weaknesses. But have you considered using ChatGPT to unlock your creativity and productivity in more substantive ways? If so, Vanderbilt University has a new course for you: Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT.

Created by Dr. Jules White, Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT will teach students how to write effective “prompts” (or well-crafted questions) so that they can leverage ChatGPT and other large language models. Large language models (LLMs) respond to “prompts” posed by users in natural language statements. If users can write good prompts, they can get effective answers from large language models and discover creative uses for these tools. Divided into six modules, the Vanderbilt course covers the art of writing effective prompts, starting with basic prompts and building toward more sophisticated ones. By course’s end, students should feel comfortable using ChatGPT to complete meaningful tasks in their personal and professional lives. For example, one student left this testimonial after completing the course:

As a medical researcher and medical writer with >30 years of experience, I was really stunned to see what the capabilities of LLMs are. Dr. White made a great work of explaining and giving examples. About halfway through the course I was able to put ChatGPT to work on a real work-related issue. With its help, I was able in fact to complete in 7 hours a job that would have required at least 20. Now, after completing the course, I believe that – by applying some more complex formatting – I could have shaved another couple of hours…”

Offered on the Coursera platform, Prompt Engineering for ChatGPT is designed for beginners. You only need a browser and a ChatGPT account. Designed to be completed in 18 hours, students can take the course for a fee ($49) and earn a credential at the end. Or they can also audit the course–and forego the credential–for no fee. Enroll here.

Nota Bene: Open Culture has a partnership with Coursera. If readers enroll in certain Coursera courses and programs, it helps support Open Culture.

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