Sadly Not, Havoc Dinosaur

50 Days of LIT Prompts

Learn prompt engineering through doing with new prompt patterns every weekday for 10 weeks

Headshot of the author, Colarusso. David Colaursso

As an experiential educator, I firmly believe experience is an excellent teacher. So, let's build some stuff. In the process we might just gain some perspective on this whole generative AI craze.

I teach law students about technology, and recently I created the LIT Prompts browser extension to help them explore the use of Large Language Models (LLMs) and prompt engineering. You can download the extension for Firefox or for Chrome.

Every weekday for the next 10 weeks, I'll update this page with new prompt patterns and invite folks to play with them inside LIT Prompts. We'll be plugging into the technology that runs tools like ChatGPT, giving you a level of control that most people don't see. You won't have to do any "coding," but we will think like coders. I'm still suspicious of the term prompt engineering, esp. when used as a job title. The idea that an entire job could be built around "talking" to an AI seems a bit too loosey goosey. So, we'll try to introduce some rigor. We'll aim to think about workflows and systems where writing prompts is just part of a larger endeavor. You'll be supported by the fact that LIT Prompts lets you produce reusable interconnecting prompt templates. This will let us build upon what we learn and improve our practice over time. We'll explore the promise and perils of this new technology while you build custom interactions/workflows. Plus, I'm pretty sure we'll have fun along the way.

Questions or comments? I'm on Mastodon

Week 1: January 22-26, 2024

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Micro-Lessons (Tuesday-Thrusday): An explination of how to build an artificial neural network

  1. Using AI to Distill and Question Texts: Summarize and question the contents of a webpage from within the browser
  2. A Rose by Any Other Name: Define a selected word, phrase, idiom, or initialism on a webpage
  3. I'm Sorry, Dave Can't Do That: Use the text of an email to draft a polite reply declining any request(s)
  4. You Can't Be Neutral on a Moving Train: Define a selected word, phrase, idiom, or initialism given the context of the webpage on which it is found
  5. Flip a Poem; Roll an "App": Turn the outcome of a coin flip into a poem and package this as an "app"

Week 2: January 29 - February 2, 2024

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday

Micro-Lessons (Monday-Thrusday): Learn how to turn words into numbers with word2vec

  1. I Turned My Scholarly Papers Into Chatbots so People Don't Have To Read Them 🤞: Turn scholarly papers into chatbots so people don't have to read every word
  2. Give Me the Recipe, Not an SEO-Motivated Short Essay: For an online "recipe page," return just the recipe absent extraneous verbiage
  3. Add Email Asks to My To-Do List: Find the "asks" in an email; produce a bulleted list of same; add these to a to-do list; save to a file
  4. Follow This One Trick to Write Great Headlines: Produce a collection of possible clickbait compelling headlines based on the text of an article
  5. A Pome for the Moment: Turn the time of day into a poem

Week 3: February 5-9, 2024

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
  1. What if Members of Talking Professions Could Log Time in Simulators Like Pilots?: Craft Simple Training Simulations with "AI actors"
  2. Taming Texts or: How To Turn Unstructured Prose Into Structured Data - Diagram selected sentence, output JSON
  3. The Dream of Universal Translation: Translate text into English then translate your reply into the original language
  4. Old-School Automation: Complete a "form letter" without engaging an LLM
  5. This Day in History: Generate fun "facts" for this day in history

Week 4: February 12-16, 2024

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
  1. If a 3L Can Automate Law Students, I Can Automate Law Profs—Robo Socrates Lives! A law school instructor shows you how to get AI to brief cases, explain them to a 5yo, play the gunner, and conduct a Socratic dialogue all for FREE!
  2. All of the Above: Use AI to draft multiple choice questions based on a reading assignment
  3. True or False? Use AI to draft true or false questions based on a reading assignment
  4. A Hawk from a Handsaw: Have an AI "guess" the right answers for multiple choice and true or false questions
  5. 2.B, or Not 2.B? Have an AI answer multiple choice and true or false questions based on a reading assignment

Week 5: February 19-23, 2024

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
  1. Narrative Quanta: LLMs as RPG Building Blocks. Generate the outcome of a scene for a role-playing game based on a single sentence
  2. TL;DR LLM: Blurb a webpage for social media
  3. Flag Logical Fallacies with a Browser Extension: Have AI read a webpage and flag logical falacies
  4. Is This Good? Extract sentiment from social media posts, label each, and structure output as JSON
  5. Your Own Personal Anger Translator: Translate angry comments into thoughtful replies in context

Week 6: February 26 - March 1, 2024

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
  1. Should the USPTO ask AI for help with Pop Culture References? How LLMs could help screen for bad-faith trademark applications
  2. 500 Characters? I'll Make It Fit! Use AI to shorten text
  3. Magnifying Ideas and Expanding Text with AI: In which I show you how to have AI write something both personal and original, bucking the assumptions that AI writing can never be personal or original
  4. Translate Legalese: An AI tool for rewriting texts in plain language
  5. The Elements of Interactive Style Guides: Have AI provide writing feedback based on a house style guide

Week 7

Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
  1. Decodable Books On-Demand: Use AI to create custom books for beginning readers
  2. Tell me questions readers might have about my writing
  3. Play Devil's Advocate
  4. Help me write an outline
  5. BS with a Bot