As the buzz surrounding generative AI modulates to the steadier hum of everyday enterprise IT, organizations are looking to get the most out of the tools they choose to deploy.
For a technology adept at wresting insights from volumes of raw data, learning what to ask is the key to unlocking generative AI's value.
“Answers are less important than questions,” Gartner Distinguished VP Analyst Erick Brethenoux said Monday, during a virtual event at the Gartner IT Symposium/Xpo.
Emerging technologies like generative AI transform the IT landscape, creating new jobs and challenges while eliminating others. CIOs have a central role, not just in evaluating and deploying the technology, but in recruiting and developing talent that can leverage it accordingly.
Demand for technicians with the skill and knowledge to create valuable queries, a role known as prompt engineer, has already picked up.
Prompt engineering, along with Azure OpenAI and content creation, were three skill sets that showed the fastest growth in tech job listings during the first half of the year, according to an Upwork analysis published in August.
Where prompt engineers come from
While there are AI training programs, upskilling existing workforce may be the best talent option for many organizations, Brethenoux said, due to the multifaceted nature of prompt engineering.
The right prompts aren’t always technology questions. Often, they require knowledge of the organization and business processes, coupled with content and domain expertise, said Brethenoux.
Prompts are formulated, processed, cataloged and then augmented in order to train models, either by a single person or an engineering team. Technicians can cultivate prompt engineering proficiencies on top of existing skills.
“You already have domain experts in your company,” Brethenoux said. “You already have technology experts … they already know your business problems.”
CIOs themselves should consciously hone prompting skills and prepare to interact with generative AI as the technology makes enterprise inroads. CEOs are looking to CIOs to “lead the organization in the application of everyday AI,” Don Scheibenreif, distinguished VP analyst at Gartner, said during Monday’s event.
Deploying generative AI may require a paradigm shift in how CIOs relate to — and with — the technology.
“When you're hiring a user-facing AI software,” Scheibenreif said, “do not think of it as just buying a piece of software but as hiring a teammate. Interview it and ask questions to test it out.”