It began with what bosses needed to say to get workers to do what they needed done.
And then it became widespread, because typing the right things into Google makes it more likely you will find what you’re looking for.
(True aside: When I worked at Yahoo, they had a secret list of the 100 most searched-for terms. It was secret because it was filled with juvenile Playboy-level porn requests as well as pretty unsophisticated single-word searches. And the number one search was: “Yahoo”)
Now, with GPT and Stable Diffusion and other machine learning AI tools gaining widespread use, there’s a gap between people who are simply stumbling around with silly short prompts and folks who are figuring out how to engineer an excellent prompt.
We’re all the boss. Giving better instructions gets better results.