Inside Dify

Building Effective GPT-based Applications: A Step-by-Step Guide



Apr 12, 2023

Developers utilizing OpenAI's GPT API may often find that the AI doesn't produce the desired output or seems "uncooperative." To address these challenges and improve GPT's performance, there are three crucial steps to follow:

Prompt Engineering

Prompt engineering is a crucial step in guiding the model's behavior, letting it know what it should and shouldn't answer. An example of a well-crafted prompt is asking the AI to "List five benefits of using solar energy" instead of a vague query like "Tell me about solar energy." The first prompt gives the AI clear instructions to provide specific information, whereas the second prompt may result in generic or irrelevant answers. By carefully crafting prompts, developers can significantly enhance the AI's performance and achieve more desirable outcomes.

In order to make the most out of GPT-based applications, it is crucial to understand the necessity of one-shot and few-shot learning. One-shot learning is the process of training the model with just one or very few examples, allowing the AI to generalize from minimal input. Few-shot learning, on the other hand, involves training the model with a small number of examples. These learning techniques enable the AI model to adapt more quickly and efficiently to new tasks and domains. When designing prompts, incorporating one-shot or few-shot examples can help guide the AI towards desired behavior and improve its performance on specific tasks.

Here are a few more examples of well-crafted prompts for different contexts:

  1. Instead of asking, "How can I improve my diet?", a better prompt would be: "Provide three specific dietary changes I can make to improve my overall health, considering factors such as portion control, nutrient intake, and meal frequency."

  2. Instead of a vague prompt like "What is the impact of climate change?", a more precise prompt would be: "Discuss three major consequences of climate change on global ecosystems, including the effects on polar ice caps, coral reefs, and rainforests."

  3. Instead of asking the AI to "Write a story about a superhero," you can provide a more detailed prompt: "Write a short story about a superhero who possesses the power to control time, describing their origin, a conflict they face, and how they ultimately resolve the situation."

By using detailed and specific prompts, developers can better guide the AI to generate more relevant and accurate responses, making GPT-based applications more effective and useful.


Embeddings enable developers to extend the LLM's context using proprietary data, such as a company's knowledge base for AI customer support. Building embeddings from scratch can be a tedious process that may take a week or even longer. The process involves cleaning, preprocessing, and transforming data, as well as training the AI model. To efficiently manage these high-dimensional embeddings, utilizing a vector database is essential.

Vector databases are optimized to handle the large-scale data generated by embeddings, allowing developers to easily search, analyze, and manipulate the data. By using a vector database, developers can significantly enhance the AI's ability to understand and process the proprietary data and improve the overall performance of the GPT-based application.

Dify dataset functionality simplifies the process of creating and managing embeddings, integrating seamlessly with vector databases for efficient storage and retrieval. As a result, developers can streamline their workflow and focus on building better AI applications.


Fine-tuning plays a crucial role in tailoring the AI model's behavior to specific use cases or domains. The process involves training the model on a smaller, domain-specific dataset, thereby refining its knowledge and improving its performance for the target application. Developers need to identify the right dataset, preprocess it, and perform the fine-tuning, ensuring that the model meets the specific requirements of the application.

Choosing the appropriate approach for improving your GPT-based application depends on your specific use case and requirements. Prompt engineering is ideal for cases where you need to guide the AI's behavior and improve its responses. Embeddings are best suited for situations where integrating proprietary data can enhance the AI's contextual understanding and performance. Finally, fine-tuning is the go-to option when you need to adapt the AI model to a specific domain or use case.

By leveraging these three techniques – prompt engineering, embeddings, and fine-tuning – developers can effectively harness the power of GPT-based applications, ensuring that the AI produces more accurate and useful outputs tailored to their unique requirements.

via @dify_ai and @goocarlos