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AI prompts for everyday life | Columnists

With now free access to general purpose large language models, having an artificial intelligence buddy in your pocket is now available to everyone. And if you’re not using it yet, today is just as good as any to start.

Whether it’s ChatGPT through OpenAI or Copilot, Perplexity, Gemini, Claude, Mistral, Llama or whatever is next on the horizon, for everyday use it won’t really matter much. If you’re doing research requiring massive context windows or have other more specific requirements, then yes — certain models will outperform others. For this exercise, pick one where the user or app interface is the one you most enjoy using.

But before we dive into how, first one very important safety tip. Never share personally identifiable information, proprietary information, contracts, financials, bank accounts, login information — anything that you wouldn’t share with a stranger anyway — with an AI. Whatever you input into a free-to-access general purpose LLM gets added to the pool of data, so please take this safety tip seriously.

The quality of your results will entirely depend on the question that gets asked (or input), and how you do so. For instance, you can say: “What should I make for dinner?” and the AI will return ideas that maybe are interesting but probably won’t hit the mark.

But if you instead say this: “You are a personal chef coming over to make dinner for our family of two adults and two children, ages 5 and 12. In our fridge are chicken thighs, cooked farro, 2 ears of corn, yellow bell pepper, white onion, celery, carrots, yogurt, a variety of cheeses, condiments, eggs and berries. Our pantry has rice, barley and pasta. Assume our spice cabinet is well stocked. What would you recommend making tonight?”

Now, the AI has a persona — a personal chef. It also knows who the food is meant for so will make assumptions around what might be more interesting to both kids and adults. And most importantly, the AI knows what ingredients it has to work with. Now, it can return something meaningful — a recipe for Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry with Farro — which was delicious and enjoyed by all.

The more clear and concise you are with your instructions and desired outcomes, the better your results will be. If you want results in a table, say “show results in a table where the left column has the website URL and the right column has their store hours.”

Here are three more prompts that you can include in your daily life:

Answering a question that you for the life of you can’t remember. Surprisingly (even though I gave you a firm “be clear and concise” warning above), AI is pretty good at extrapolating your stream of consciousness and getting you to what you’re looking for. For instance, “what’s the name of the knife that Crocodile Dundee has when he says, ‘that’s not a knife, this is a knife?’” and the AI will tell you it’s a bowie knife. You can click on the provided reference links to read more or even ask it to show you a picture of the item, and the AI will generate an image for you.

Synthesizing or summarizing information. If you are short on time or don’t have any interest in diving into someone new’s writing style, you can ask AI to “summarize this article into bullet points: URL.” It’s a great cheat for consuming a ton of information in a short amount of time. Of course, you will entirely miss the nuance that comes with reading long form. And please, definitely check the source material that is referenced to ensure what you are committing to memory is accurate.

Being creative for you. I know several parents who do this — you’re several years into making up bedtime stories and are running low on creative juice. Here’s a prompt to try: “You are a parent to a [X] year old [kid/boy/girl/child] and every night you tell them a bedtime story that involves [an adventure with a friendly talking animal who helps them solve a mystery and save the day, for example]. Write a short story that can be read in five minutes along this theme.” One of my favorite things about having a general purpose LLM available is to help me get to 75% done — whether it’s text, images or video — and from there, it’s easy to edit to get to your perfect story.

There you have it, four easy ways to use a general purpose LLMs in your everyday life. What are you waiting for?

(This column was not drafted by AI!)

Annie Tsai is chief operating officer at Interact (, early stage investor and advisor with The House Fund (, and a member of the San Mateo County Housing and Community Development Committee. Find Annie on Twitter @meannie.

Originally Appeared Here

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