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Prompt Artist

Member Blog - Jon Radoff

December 2022

I recently claimed that “Prompt Artist” would be the fastest growing job in 2023.

I was wrong.

Instead, read on to understand the critical skill that will be essential to every knowledge worker in the 20’s.

A decade ago, when someone asked the most important skill, I’d say:

“Learn to Code”. Coding is still a great skill to know. But now there’s something even more important—and more universal…

The skill is now “Learn to Compose”

Specifically: learn to Compose with Artificial Intelligence (AI).

If you’re a coder, then AI must become part of your skills.

If you’re a writer, then AI must become part of your skills.

If you’re an designer, then AI must become part of your skills.

If you’re an marketer, then AI must become part of your skills.

But “Compose” might not mean exactly what you think it does…

Large Language Models (LLMs) have made incredible progress in only a few short years. ChatGPT finally showed everyone how powerful it could become. But what does this mean for you?

Exponential growth of LLMs. It’s probably a bit wrong because GPT-4 will probably work better due to hyperparameter tuning, but the point remains that the rate of progress is MUCH faster than Moore’s Law.


A lot of people have talked about ”Prompt Engineering.”

I’ve written about the job of

“Prompt Artist.”

But this by itself won’t be a real job: mostly because individual generative systems will get better at understanding what you want.

That won’t be the real job.


Generative AI can output

text, code, 2D art, 3D art and

even entire virtual worlds.

Sometimes the output is

immediately useful, and

anyone without access to

these tools will be driving

horse-drawn carriage in a

world of cars.

But that’s just “level 1”

composition. What’s next?

Midjourney: musical notation,

composition, painting by

William Blake

Composition: Iteration

Generative AI will rapidly

replace much of the labor

involved in repetitive

knowledge tasks that are

not actually creative.

It is an incredibly powerful

tool for scaling-up your

creative process, for

iterating, for riffing off new

ideas and directions.

Coding is still really helpful!

Although Composition will become more important than “Coding,” for most people, it is important to know how to work with code.

Code is the glue between different systems.

And code is the only rigorous way to record the behavior of a software system.

You’ll incorporate AI in appropriate places to optimize, accelerate and create intelligent programs.

This will become as basic as knowing how to call functions in a spreadsheet. But this is still just “level 2” composition.

Level 3 Composition is

about having a breadth

of knowledge about

the components you

can use, and how they

can interoperate within

complete systems.

Qualities of a Level-3 Composer

  • Curiosity: always learning about new methods, new components, new generative tools.

  • Systems thinking: holistic understanding of relationships and interfaces between components.

  • Action-oriented: builds things because real-world testing of ideas is faster than thinking about them.

  • “T-shaped”

From the Valve Software employee handbook: deepdomain expertise + broad understanding will be important.

Level 3 Composition is Already Happening

Everyone’s head is spinning because of the rapid progress of AI from 2020-2022. Humans aren’t used to exponential growth curves

Proof-of-concept: Using conversational AI, microservices and visual scripting to create a massively multiplayer game:

Thank you for making it to the end. I want you take this guidance to heart, and build the skills you need for the next decade.

If you found this helpful, you will probably enjoy reading more of the things I share.

Here’s an article I wrote that is the foundation for a lot of my thinking:

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