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The 3 Biggest Mistakes People Make When First Using AI

I've had countless conversations with people who start courses with, "Yeah, I tried AI and it was rubbish." If that sounds like you, you're not alone. From what I've seen, there are three common mistakes people make when first using AI. Here's how to avoid them and start getting better results from your AI Assistant.

1. Expecting AI to Read Minds

One of the biggest misconceptions is thinking AI can magically produce perfect results without much input. And it's not your fault. Most AI Tools have very short generic example input when you first log on. But give it little instruction and you will get a more generic response. Many users give short vague instructions and then wonder why the AI didn’t get their writing style, audience, or content requirements right.

How to Avoid This Mistake:

  • Provide Clear Direction: Treat the AI like a team member. You wouldn’t expect a new hire to read your mind, would you? Give it detailed instructions and context.

  • Structured Prompts: Use a framework for your prompts. Outline the tone, audience, key points, and any specifics you need.

  • Example Outputs: If possible, show the AI examples of what you’re looking for. This can drastically improve the relevance and quality of the output.

2. Using Basic, Free AI Tools

Another mistake is relying solely on free tools and interacting with less advanced language models such as ChatGPT 3.5. While impressive, these versions often don’t perform as well as the more advanced versions.

How to Avoid This Mistake:

  • Upgrade to a paid account: Consider investing in a paid account to access the best features. Paid versions of ChatGPT, for instance, offer enhanced capabilities, including the ability to create custom AI models.

  • Try ChatGPT 4o: You can now try out ChatGPT-4o for free if available, but be aware of prompt limits. They are dangling the carrot here for a reason. They know once you use it you wont want to go back to 3.5.

  • Custom GPTs: Explore creating a custom GPT tailored to your specific needs. Custom GPTs can provide a more personalised and effective AI experience.

Why It’s Worth It:

Investing in a paid AI tool and taking the time to understand how to craft effective prompts can significantly improve the quality of the AI’s output. It’s like moving from a basic toolset to a professional-grade one – the difference in results can be dramatic.

3. Assuming the First Response is Final

A common mistake is to treat the AI's first response as the final answer. Many users don’t realise that AI retains memory throughout a conversation, allowing for continuous improvement and refinement.

How to Avoid This Mistake:

  • Iterate and Refine: Don’t settle for the first response. Ask the AI for improvements, adjustments, and edits.

  • Utilise Memory: Remember that the AI retains context. Use this to your advantage by building on previous interactions.

  • Continuous Dialogue: Engage in an ongoing conversation with the AI to refine and perfect the output.

Why It’s Important:

Leveraging the AI’s memory and iterative capabilities can vastly enhance the quality and relevance of the results. Treat the process as a collaboration rather than a one-off interaction.

Avoiding these common mistakes can transform your AI experience from frustrating to fantastic. By giving clear direction, investing in more advanced AI tools, and engaging in continuous dialogue, you will quickly see how these tools can be highly beneficial to your day to day role.

Want to know more? Check out our AI courses to learn more about mastering AI tools.

Remember, the more you put into your interactions with AI, the more you’ll get out of them.


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