As the global frenzy for chatbot ChatGPT sweeps across industries, everyone is talking about the AI technology behind it and whether they'll be replaced by AI. However, few have noticed the new job opportunities arising from this technology.
These jobs are called "Prompt Engineers" and can offer annual salaries of up to $340,000, without requiring employees to have a computer engineering degree.
Prompt Engineers, essentially AI trainers, interact with AI systems by creating relevant prompts to assist users in generating flawless content and help companies train employees to use these tools. In short, Prompt Engineers are a fusion of designer, copywriter, and programmer.
"It's like an AI Whisperer," said Albert Phelps, a Prompt Engineer at Mudano, a subsidiary of the UK-based Accenture consulting firm. Prompt Engineers often have backgrounds in history, philosophy, or English language as they involve wordplay.
Their goal is to distill the essence or meaning of something into a limited number of words.
Phelps and his colleagues spend most of their days writing prompts for tools like OpenAI's ChatGPT, which can be saved as presets for clients and others to use.
According to Phelps, a Prompt Engineer writes five different prompts each day and interacts with ChatGPT around 50 times.
In reality, the profession of Prompt Engineer is not a recent development. As early as 2017, AI researchers created "pre-trained" large language models (LLMs), which, by adding human text input, enabled AI to capture and store more knowledge for a broader range of tasks.
ChatGPT is an LLM, and every time a user adjusts a prompt, they are essentially training the AI.
As ChatGPT ignites a race among tech companies in the chatbot field, the demand for Prompt Engineers is surging.
For instance, Google-backed startup Anthroic is hiring "Prompt Engineers and Librarians" in San Francisco, offering salaries up to $340,000. AI contract review company Klarity is recruiting a "Machine Learning Engineer" in California with an annual salary of up to $230,000.
Major companies like Google, TikTok, and Netflix continue to increase salaries for similar positions, making them a significant trend in recent job postings.
Beyond the tech sector, companies in the medical, financial, legal, and insurance fields are experimenting with AI tools similar to ChatGPT, further fueling the demand for Prompt Engineers.
UK law firm Mishcon de Reya is currently hiring a "GPT Legal Prompt Engineer" to help the company explore the application of LLMs in the legal field. Nick West, partner and chief strategy officer at the firm, said, "I want to engage with cutting-edge technology and compete with it."
Moreover, as demand grows, the business of AI-generated text prompts is also heating up. Users can now buy and sell relevant text prompts through the startup platform PromptBase, which also allows clients to hire Prompt Engineers.
Reflecting on the booming chatbot market, a recruitment group executive specializing in AI, machine learning, and automation in the UK and other markets said, "This could be the fastest-growing IT market I've seen in my 25 years of work."
Starting salaries are around $40,000, but some candidates in their database hope for annual earnings between $200,000 and $300,000. Skilled engineers can even set their own prices.
Tom Hewitson, founder of conversation design studio labworks.io, which provides voice control skills for Amazon's Alexa, stated that the best-suited individuals for this job are product designers or business analysts who are willing to engage with AI, and their salaries typically range from $100,000 to $150,000.
However, Hewitson also cautioned that this trend could be a precursor to a bubble.