By conditioning on natural language instructions, large language models (LLMs) have displayed impressive capabilities as general-purpose computers. However, task performance depends significantly on the quality of the prompt used to steer the model, and most effective prompts have been handcrafted by humans. Inspired by classical program synthesis and the human approach to prompt engineering, we propose Automatic Prompt Engineer (APE) for automatic instruction generation and selection. In our method, we treat the instruction as the “program,” optimized by searching over a pool of instruction candidates proposed by an LLM in order to maximize a chosen score function. To evaluate the quality of the selected instruction, we evaluate the zero-shot performance of another LLM following the selected instruction.
2022: Yongchao Zhou, Andrei Ioan Muresanu, Ziwen Han, Keiran Paster, Silviu Pitis, Harris Chan, Jimmy Ba
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