Three winners share Dh1m prize at Dubai's Global Prompt Engineering Championship

Event celebrates AI innovation and diversity with art, literature and coding categories

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Dubai's Global Prompt Engineering Championship, which focused on developing skills in artificial intelligence technology, concluded on Tuesday with winners in three categories.

Each earned the title of Best Prompt Engineer in Generative Artificial Intelligence Applications and a share of the Dh1 million ($272,290) prize fund.

The winners were Indian Ajay Cyril, 33, for coding, fellow Indian Aditya Nair, 34, for literature and 30-year-old Austrian Megan Fowkes in the art category.

In AI, a prompt refers to a specific request made to a language model such as ChatGPT, which can provide a response or solution to a user.

Speaking to The National at the event, Omar Al Olama, Minister of State for AI, Digital Economy and Remote Work Applications, emphasised the event not only showcased top global talent but also aimed to inspire widespread adoption of AI tools.

He highlighted the importance of developing practical prompt engineering skills, as these are crucial for the workforce of tomorrow and for enhancing quality of life through AI.

"Having the best prompters from around the world competing and showcasing their abilities is going to light a spark within our population," Mr Al Olama said.

An inclusive approach

Participants competed in categories beyond traditional coding, such as literature and art, emphasising the broad applicability of AI tools.

"We want to show people that there is a full spectrum of use cases. Whether you are technical or non-technical, you can utilise these tools," said Mr Al Olama.

The minister also highlighted the standout feature of the competition: the diverse skill set demonstrated by participants. "What stood out to me was the ability of people to effectively structure their thinking while writing prompts to get the best technical output without having to write a line of code," he said.

Benedette Ghione, executive director of Art Dubai and one of the judges for the art category, told The National her focus was on how participants input their prompts and the creativity behind them.

"The technology is amazing, but at the root of it, as with all artistic creation, is a person. So, how is that person thinking? You see that in the prompt," she said.

Ms Ghione said someone with artistic knowledge and imagination will direct the machine differently to one who relies solely on AI to innovate on their behalf. This distinction underscores the importance of human creativity in utilising AI tools effectively, she added.

Megan Fowkes, winner in the art category, told The National that being specific in prompts was crucial.

"It's more about having a good idea and bringing that to life rather than just putting in anything too generic because if it's too generic, then you don't get something interesting," she said.

Global impact and prospects

Addressing concerns about AI potentially replacing jobs, Mr Al Olama highlighted the importance of understanding its capabilities and limitations.

"People sometimes fear AI because they don't understand it," he said. "When you are forced to use and leverage it, you understand what it can and cannot do, and you understand your role in working with this technology."

The UAE sees AI as a tool for good. "As a government, we regulate against bad use cases. This competition showcases the positive potential of AI," Mr Al Olama said.

The first day of the two-day conference on Monday focused on selecting nine from the top 30 prompt engineering programmers to participate in the final phase on Tuesday at the Museum of the Future.

Dubai's Global Prompt Engineering Championship was organised by the Dubai Future Foundation and Dubai's Centre for AI.

Updated: May 22, 2024, 7:16 AM