I get paid to write prompts and my friends know it. That’s why, when one of them asked “Can’t we just use ChatGPT to compute the final vote?” all eyes turned to the bald dude in the room.
There were eight of us and we’d just finished tasting six different Galettes des Rois. The “Kings’ Cake” is a traditional French pastry, typically enjoyed in January. It’s a celebration rooted in both Christianity and the Roman festival of Saturnalia, where social norms were briefly inverted.
For us, it was just another excuse to eat fancy cakes, and we decided to rank them. Everyone pulled up the Notes app on their phone, but no one agreed on a clear template to write down the votes.
- Some used a dynamic list, moving the cakes up and down with every new slice.
- Others listed them without order, adding a number representing the rank before each cake. Sometimes after.
- The only constant? Spelling mistakes, which is only natural since French bakeries looove wordplay.
I received eight separate lists in a text message. All I had to do was write an elegant prompt to turn messy data into a classy computation. It was time to shine. But…
That’s how I felt.
Super ultra mega lazy.
I didn’t want to disconnect from the group for 15+ minutes to write a sophisticated prompt. So I wrote a short one in five minutes and ran it. The first results landed in the nonsense territory.
I added a few instructions and pressed “Send.” Still no luck. I discussed the data with two friends and tried again. What came out was synchronized frowns.
Over 20 more minutes went by before I started waving my phone“I got it,” I yelled. “I freaking got it!”
On the way home, one question kept playing inside my head. How can you write better prompts when you’re feeling lazy?