Staged ChatGPT Prompts

How you split up a prompt can make a big difference to the output you get from ChatGPT. I also get the feeling that the extent to which you explicilty prompt ChatGPT to draw upon previous outputs can also influence its behaviour.

Within a single prompt, building up the generated text to take account of a previous part of that text can be hit or miss.

For example:

Write a paragraph on the weather in Spain and a second paragraph on the weather in France that starts with the sentence used to end the pfirst paragraph, and end it with the first sentence from the first paragraph.

Me to ChatGPT
The weather in Spain is typically warm and sunny, with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the mid-80s depending on the time of year. The summer months can be particularly hot and dry, with temperatures often reaching over 90 degrees Fahrenheit. However, the coastal regions of Spain tend to have a more temperate climate, with cooler temperatures and higher humidity due to the influence of the Mediterranean Sea.

On the other hand, the weather in France is highly varied due to the country's diverse geography. In the northern regions, the climate is typically cooler and wetter, with temperatures ranging from the mid-40s to the mid-60s in the winter and the mid-60s to the mid-70s in the summer. The southern regions of France, such as the Mediterranean coast, have a warmer and drier climate, with temperatures reaching the mid-80s in the summer months. The weather in Spain is typically warm and sunny, with temperatures ranging from the mid-60s to the mid-80s depending on the time of year.

By more carefully phrasing the prompt, we may be able to improve things. For example, if the prompt stated that the second paragraph should be gnrated according to particular rules, and gave those rules, we can improve compliance in the generated text.

We can also split things up a bit more into several prompts.

Write a paragraph on the weather in Spain.

Me to ChatGPT
Spain is a country located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. It has a Mediterranean climate, which means that it has hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters. In general, the weather in Spain is very pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from the mid-60s Fahrenheit (around 20°C) in the winter to the mid-80s (around 30°C) in the summer. However, temperatures can vary greatly depending on the region. For example, the southern coast tends to be much warmer than the northern coast, and the inland regions can be quite hot in the summer. Overall, the weather in Spain is a major draw for tourists, who flock to the country to enjoy the warm sunshine and the beautiful beaches.

Now write a paragraph on the weather in France according to the following rules: start it with the sentence used to end the previously generated paragraph, and finish it with the first sentence from the previoulsy generated paragraph.

Me to ChatGPT
Overall, the weather in France is a major draw for tourists, who flock to the country to enjoy the warm sunshine and the beautiful beaches. France is a country located in western Europe and it has a varied climate due to its diverse topography. It has a temperate climate, with cool winters and mild summers. The weather in France is generally quite pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from the low 40s Fahrenheit (around 5°C) in the winter to the low 70s (around 25°C) in the summer. However, temperatures can vary greatly depending on the region. For example, the southern coast tends to be much warmer than the northern coast, and the inland regions can be quite hot in the summer.

How does the second paragraph conform to the first rule?

Me to ChatGPT
I apologize for the mistake in my previous response. The second paragraph does not conform to the first rule, which stated that it should start with the sentence used to end the previously generated paragraph. The correct sentence to start the second paragraph would be "Overall, the weather in France is a major draw for tourists." I apologize for any confusion I may have caused.

I think changing the name of the country is acceptable in applying the first rule.

Me to ChatGPT
Yes, changing the name of the country is acceptable in applying the first rule. Thank you for clarifying. Here is the revised paragraph that conforms to the rules:

Overall, the weather in France is a major draw for tourists, who flock to the country to enjoy the warm sunshine and the beautiful beaches. France is a country located in western Europe and it has a varied climate due to its diverse topography. It has a temperate climate, with cool winters and mild summers. The weather in France is generally quite pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from the low 40s Fahrenheit (around 5°C) in the winter to the low 70s (around 25°C) in the summer. However, temperatures can vary greatly depending on the region. For example, the southern coast tends to be much warmer than the northern coast, and the inland regions can be quite hot in the summer. Overall, the weather in Spain is a major draw for tourists, who flock to the country to enjoy the warm sunshine and the beautiful beaches.

I think changing the name of the country is acceptable when applying both rules.

Me to ChatGPT
Yes, changing the name of the country is acceptable when applying both rules. Thank you for your clarification. Here is a revised paragraph that conforms to both rules:

Overall, the weather in France is a major draw for tourists, who flock to the country to enjoy the warm sunshine and the beautiful beaches. France is a country located in western Europe and it has a varied climate due to its diverse topography. It has a temperate climate, with cool winters and mild summers. The weather in France is generally quite pleasant, with average temperatures ranging from the low 40s Fahrenheit (around 5°C) in the winter to the low 70s (around 25°C) in the summer. However, temperatures can vary greatly depending on the region. For example, the southern coast tends to be much warmer than the northern coast, and the inland regions can be quite hot in the summer. Overall, the weather in France is a major draw for tourists, who flock to the country to enjoy the warm sunshine and the beautiful beaches.

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a Senior Lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...

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