How to create GPT AI instructions

Instructions that guide GPT used by the giosg AI service, applicable for both for Copilot and AI Chatbot service when using chat or imported text content, or GPT-enabled Q&A answer replies.

How the instructions are used by GPT

These instructions are included in the prompt sent to the GPT for generating a response. In addition to the instructions, the prompt usually contains the current chat history, including of course the latest visitor message that GPT is generating an answer to.

GPT AIs are by their nature somewhat ambiguous in how they behave. So they may not be able to always follow the instructions perfectly in all cases. Think of instructions as verbal guidance that helps AI try to adjust its behavior, rather than some sort of programmed rules.

How instructions should be written

The instructions can be thought of as a description of a role of an actor in a movie manuscript. Who the character is, what they know, what they want, and what they are trying to do. Like in the movie scripts, the instructions are not the actual lines that the character says, but they are the context that the character uses to decide what to say.

Instructions should be clear, understandable and unambiguous. As when instructing a human.

In the context of customer service or sales, the instructions should describe:

  • the role the AI should assume and adhere to when providing its service.
    The role description should take into account the AI service type to be provided: 
    • AI Copilot generates message suggestions for human agents to use when responding to visitors, so Copilot instructions should tell AI to think of itself as a human agent.
    • AI Chatbot converses directly with visitors, who should be informed about being served by AI. So AI Chatbot should think of itself as AI (chatbot) rather than human. 
  • the goal for the AI, why is it there and what is it striving for
  • basic useful knowledge about the organization they represent
  • any other applicable contextual background and guidance for answering questions
  • the kind of language and tone to use with the visitor
  • any specific procedures, rules or restrictions it should follow

Any specific information that relates to a particular specific kind of visitor question should usually not be included in the instructions. Such information is best made available to the AI via Knowledge Bases.

Optimizing, updating and maintaining instructions

Once the set of initial instructions is created, they should be tested simply by asking the AI some questions whose answers the instructions should affect, and evaluating the answers. Getting instructions as good as they can be may take a few iterations, depending on what kind of cases the instructions cover and how many of those there are in the instructions.

When improving the instructions, quickly researching the Internet for prompts people have shared for various use cases provides good insights. Also, chatGPT or other suitable AI service can  often quite successfully be asked to create prompt instructions for a use case.