The Ultimate Guide to Prompt Engineering, Economist Tyler Cower on How ChatGPT Is Changing Your Job, and More

Everything we published this week

DALL-E/Every illustration.

Hello, and happy Sunday! Let’s start with some housekeeping.

We published two new audio essays: Gareth Edwards’s riveting story about the secret father of the PC, and Evan’s latest piece, about how to evaluate when to invest. If you prefer to be informed verbally, give them a listen. Like and subscribe to Every on Spotify so you can get our essays in your feed, and let us know what you think in the comments.

There are only two days left to get a discount when you sign up for our new course, Maximize Your Mind With ChatGPT, which starts on February 5. It’s a four-week program that marries cutting-edge AI with the best of what psychology knows about developing your potential, and Dan Shipper is teaching it with clinical psychologist Dr. Gena Gorlin. 

Now, on to everything we published this week, along with our take on the latest tech and business news.


🖋Our stories

“The Ultimate Guide to Prompt Engineering” by Michael Taylor: We spend a lot of time around here arguing that AI is the next big thing. However, if you only spend a passing amount of time using ChatGPT, you may think we are full of it. The key? Learning to prompt correctly. Read this in-depth guide to prompting from engineer Michael Taylor. 

🎧“Economist Tyler Cowen on How ChatGPT Is Changing Your Job” by Dan Shipper/Chain of Thought: We’ve read Tyler Cowen for years and consider him one of the smartest people on the internet. So it was with great pleasure that we were able to have him on Dan’s podcast to hear how he uses ChatGPT. Listen or watch to learn how the renowned economist uses AI to think faster and better. 

The Zone of Deployment by Evan Armstrong/Napkin Math: When you identify an exciting business, it’s tempting to go all in—you naturally want to invest in it or even work there. But before you throw your life savings away, you need to keep three key concepts in mind: business quality, price, and portfolio construction. Read this to learn why tech got so drunk on valuations and how you can know when to deploy capital. 

“ChatGPT Unlocks the Most Powerful Force on Earth” by Dan Shipper/Chain of Thought: Part of the challenge of a new technology is finding the language to describe what it can do. AI is perhaps the most devilishly challenging version of this problem because the technology shapes language itself. Dan cites recent experiences with how ChatGPT can act as a translator across context and nationalities to improve workflows. Read this to understand how AI can remake communication. 


⛓️ Chain of links

In the future, AI prompts your brain. Transformers can do more than turn text prompts into text responses. A new model, Morpheus-1, takes your brain states as a prompt and responds with commands to control a neurofeedback device that can induce lucid dream states. I’ve been writing that AI will change science, particularly in areas like psychology, where progress has been hard to come by. This is a good example of how. If you can induce dreams, you might be able to induce any brain state you want.

OpenAI’s new release is more like the first night of Hanukkah than Christmas morning. OpenAI released a new, more powerful embedding model and a more powerful version of its latest GPT-4 model: GPT-4 Turbo. These updates are nice, but they’re incremental. We’re still waiting for the next big release, which—rumor has it—could be right around the corner. —Dan Shipper

✐The napkin math

Blood in the streets of mainstream media, with broad layoffs everywhere. Business Insider laid off 8 percent, Paramount is planning layoffs, the LA Times cut 115 roles (including what appears to be its entire business and technology desk), Condé Nast laid off 5 percent of staff or about 300 jobs. Compared to the scope of the U.S. economy, these layoffs are relatively minor. But they do represent how the internet and AI have permanently changed the economics of information, which has far larger implications. Expect more from us on this soon. 

No revenue, no problem for AI startups. News is out that Elon Musk’s Kroger-brand OpenAI, xAI, is in talks to raise $6 billion at a $20 billion valuation. Other deals with similarly small levels of revenue traction continue to get made. One company raised $50 million and another raised $85 million, both at billion-dollar valuations. They’re all betting that they can point an LLM at a problem and money will appear. We’ll see if they are right. —Evan Armstrong

🔎The examined life

The book to read once the ayahuasca hits. I’ve been reading philosopher Martin Buber’s classic I and Thou, which my favorite high school teacher gifted to me upon graduation. When I tried to read it 10 years ago, it made my eyes roll. I don’t know if it’s just because I’ve gotten more woo-woo as I’ve gotten older, but it hits differently at 32. A classic work about the importance of human connection, the sanctity of relationships, and how who you are changes based on how you relate to the world. —Dan

Go touch grass on a mountain. I recently returned from a multi-week vacation in New Zealand that was life-changing. My boots have tread mountains all over the world, but NZ is, pound for pound, the most beautiful place on the planet. The highlight was a five-day trek through the mountains that cost me two toenails but let me experience views like the one below. All that time without electricity gave me a good deal of personal peace. 10/10. I’ll continue with my slow and steady plot to become a hiking influencer in the years to come. In the meantime, try to go outside. —Evan

Source: Evan Armstrong.


That’s all for this week.

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