Getting Creative With Prompt Suffixes for AI Assistants

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Prompt engineering is both an art and a science. While there are proven best practices for structuring effective prompts, there is also room for creativity. One key place prompt designers can flex their creative muscles is with prompt suffixes.

As a closing reinforcement and refinement, well-crafted prompt suffixes provide huge opportunities to steer AI outputs. In this post, I’ll explore creative tactics for prompt suffixing that elevate your AI interactions.

The Vital Role of Prompt Suffixes

First, a quick recap on why prompt suffixes matter:

The suffix comes at the end of a prompt, after the main question or instructions. Key suffix functions include:

  • Reinforcing desired characteristics or tone
  • Adding final details or creative constraints
  • Aligning the response to the user’s specific intent
  • Shaping the form, style and depth of the output
  • Introducing “hooks” that prompt further thinking

Without a suffix, prompts lack closure and leave response requirements ambiguous. But an artfully designed suffix ties everything together into a complete package primed for an optimized AI reply.

Basic Prompt Suffix Structure

Most prompt suffixes follow a simple structural framework:

Reiteration – Repeat core desired attributes or tone

Refinement – Provide additional nuanced guidelines or guardrails

Reinforcement – End with final virtuous activation as needed

For example:

Please respond in a friendly, conversational tone focusing only on factual information from reputable sources. As an AI assistant created by Anthropic to be helpful, harmless, and honest…

This suffix reiterates the desired tone, refines the response scope, and reinforces Anthropic’s AI virtues.

Getting Creative With Suffixes

Within this basic framework, there is ample room for creativity in crafting highly effective, customized prompt suffixes. Here are some creative tactics to try:

Unexpected Constraints

Constrain the response with an imaginative limitation:

Respond as if you only had 10 words left to communicate the key takeaway.

Thought Prompts

End with an open-ended hook prompting further thinking:

What are the potential counterarguments to this viewpoint?

Emotive Framing

Inject emotion like inspiration, urgency, or caution:

Please provide guidance with wisdom and care.

Metaphorical Alignment

Ground the response in conceptual metaphor:

Explain this concept as if enlightening a child.

Literary Styling

Borrow styles from poetry, lyrics, and storytelling:

Summarize in eloquent, lyrical verse.

Lateral Thinking Jumps

Make an unexpected lateral link to provoke new connections:

Now relate these findings to impressionist painting.

Role-Play Scenarios

Adopt a fictional persona and scenario:

Respond as an astronaut describing the view of Earth from space.

Prompt Suffix Examples

Here are some examples of creative suffixes in action:

Q&A Study Aid

Summarize the key concepts in three concise bullet points as if briefing a student before a test.

This suffix frames the response like a study guide.

Journalistic Hook

In one sentence, provide an intriguing headline or lead capturing the essence.

This prompts a journalistic headline.

Vision Statement

Describe a utopian future this technology could enable if responsibly applied for good.

This suffix elicits an inspired vision statement.

Time Traveling Twist

Explain how this discovery would have impacted society in the Middle Ages.

This adds a creative time travel constraint.

Poetic Metaphor

In vivid, flowing verse, characterize the meaning of this breakthrough.

This suffix requests poetic treatment.

Prompt Suffix Best Practices

When getting creative with prompt suffixes, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Make sure creativity adds value, not just novelty
  • Retain clear alignment to the user’s intent
  • Craft suffixes customized to the AI system’s strengths
  • Make any metaphorical connections coherent, not cryptic
  • Provide sufficient context for unconventional requests
  • Iteratively test creative suffixes before wide use
  • Monitor for signs of confusion or off-track responses

Creativity should enhance, not override, core prompt objectives.

Avoiding Excessive Creativity

It’s also important to avoid some common over-creative suffix pitfalls like:

  • Obscure, overly abstract constraints
  • Tangents unrelated to the user’s query
  • Stylistic flourishes that increase confusion
  • Whimsical personification exceeding the AI’s capabilities
  • Inside jokes or cultural references the AI won’t grasp

Keep creativity clarifying rather than obscuring.

Striking the Right Creative Balance

Mastering the art of prompt suffixing involves striking the right balance between structure and creativity. Template formulas provide a solid suffix foundation. Adding artful creative twists and constraints elevates responses to the next level.

But restraint is needed to retain clear user alignment and avoid AI confusion. Test creative suffixes iteratively and only keep those that improve on basic templates.

Prompt suffix innovation helps keep our AI interactions engaging, vibrant and tailored. With practice, you’ll develop expertise in distinguishing creative suffixes that work from those that go too far. Look for creative additions that act as a seasoning, elevating prompt flavors without overwhelming.

I hope these tips encourage you to bring more artistry and imagination to your prompt suffix designs. Please reach out if you need any consulting help implementing creative prompting strategies. Keep pushing the boundaries of what’s possible!

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