Why I hired a prompt engineer to work with generative AI
Liberty Guild chief exec Jon WIlliams explains why he’s invested in the prompt engineer role now.
You can’t outrun the threat – but you can outrun rivals, argues Williams / Unsplash
What do you mean you don’t have a head of engineering yet?
Do you know the joke about the two blokes being chased by a hungry bear? As they’re running away, one stops to take a pair of running shoes out of his rucksack and starts to put them on. The other asks ‘what are you doing – you can’t outrun the bear’.
‘I don’t have to outrun the bear, he replies. Only you…..’
If you haven’t formulated an artificial intelligence (AI) strategy already then what are you doing? By the time everyone has worked it out your world will have fundamentally shifted. AI is the bear. You can’t escape. But you also don’t have to be food.
And this is exactly the reason why we have a conversational AI expert and prompt engineer who worked at Google in the team. And why it isn’t odd. Or too soon.
It’s beyond an understatement to say AI is changing and evolving rapidly. And because of that none of us has any idea where the bus will stop. All we know here at the Liberty Guild is that we need to be on that bus.
We need to understand it deeply and advise our clients on how best to deploy it for our external offering, but also our people and our internal process. It’s going to fundamentally change the way society works, how people live and the way businesses speak to businesses. And frankly, as a CEO of a business, with a responsibility to our shareholders, I just think it would be negligent not to be making structural changes as this ‘fast-moving’ story unfolds.
Maybe if you’re nestled up in a cozy network, you can hope that someone else will do it, but when you row your boat as so many of us do, you know all too well that the cavalry ain’t coming – it’s down to you to save the day.
But also, as creatives, shouldn’t we be curious? And I don’t mean putting some stuff into Midjourney and posting it on Instagram. I mean proper curiosity. Learning and testing and planning and imagineering. Burning the midnight oil to work out how platforms work with platforms. Testing APIs. Getting into the weeds.
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So many things to consider. Creatives have ideas, right? Yes, there is an existential discussion you can have about this. There are arguably a limited amount of ideas in the world and everything is in some form recombinant – should, therefore, a recombinant idea from an AI platform should be just as valuable as one out of the mind of a human?
The problems will come for businesses that are hours-based. This is built on two contradictory dynamics.
If your creatives are using AI to augment their talent, they will be far, far quicker – so don’t you need to charge much less? And if you do, how does your business model stack? Fewer people? More clients?
Furthermore, the current perception is that AI is free. It is seen as an open public resource. But very soon there will be models built that are much more specific to tasks and industries that have a value attached to them. Then what? Where does the pendulum swing?
Either way, you will be having a very new and interesting conversation with a procurement team very soon.
The bottom line is that my job as a CEO is to ensure the business is ready for the future. And that is AI. We need to be adapting and innovating, not sleeping at the wheel. Or being eaten by bears.
Jon Williams is founder and CEO of Liberty Guild.