Claude 3 is amazing

3 tips to get the most out of it

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Hey Warrior,

Claude 3 dropped this week, and I've been playing with it extensively.

If you've been reading this newsletter, you'll know that I’ve always been a big fan of Claude. For writing tasks, Claude tends to be the better option than GPT, because of its more natural, human-like tone.

Now they've released a new version, and according to benchmarks, this one is even better than GPT-4, which no other model has really accomplished so far. But benchmarks are one thing, the true test is what the users are saying.

In today's post, we’ll cover what I think of it and I’ll be sharing three tips and insights that I have discovered while trying it out.

Here’s what’s on the menu:

  • Why Claude wants you to use XML tags when prompting it

  • One handy use case of the vision capabilities

  • Why the large context window is a big deal

Let's jump in.

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1) Why Claude wants you to use XML tags when prompting it

On Claude's official website, they recommend using XML tags when prompting Claude. Here's what they say:

I've tried this and have noticed that it indeed helps Claude to better understand the different parts of your prompt, especially when your prompts get larger.

For example, here’s my one-shot prompt to create any new marketing asset (using the AI Growth Kit), adapted for Claude with XML tags:

<INSTRUCTIONS>
- Your task is to rewrite a [asset] for me.
- I will first provide you with CONTEXT about my [product, course], about me and about any other relevant information.
- I will then provide you with a copy of a ORIGINAL [asset] by another creator.
- Your task is to take the ORIGINAL [asset] from the other creator and rewrite it for my purposes using the CONTEXT about my [product, course] and other information I have provided.
- You must use the same structure, style and tone of the original [asset]. The resulting [asset] should resemble the original [asset] very closely, but it should be relevant only to the context provided by me.
- Also, Instead of generating a link, when it's actually an image, just write [image]
</INSTRUCTIONS>

<CONTEXT>
[Enter your CONTEXT. This can be as detailed as you want and have multiple sections.]
</CONTEXT>

<ORIGINAL ASSET>
[Paste the ASSET, i.e. landing page, email, video script etc]
</ORIGINAL ASSET>

The context and asset parts can get quite large and without XML tags this could get lost in the rest of the prompt, leading to inaccurate results.

I’ve definitely seen this happen with ChatGPT before, that a large prompt can cause it to get confused.

Using XML tags helps Claude keep the instructions, context and original asset sections separate in this case and better understand what to do.

2) Handy use case of the vision capabilities

Claude's vision capabilities are pretty incredible.

So far, I've mainly been using it for extracting text from images, but I’m sure there are many other good use cases too.

Here you can see it in action. I’m pasting an image of a recipe and simply asking Claude to extract the text in that recipe.

As you can see, it's extremely fast. So whenever I need to get text from an image to paste it somewhere or just save it into my notes, this is super useful.

I’ve tried to do the same thing with ChatGPT several times before and it usually either fails and times out, or takes way too long.

3) Large context window

The large context window is another of Claude's superpowers.

Right now, at launch, the context window of Claude is at 200k tokens and will be extended to 1M tokens soon, according to their announcement. (Btw, Gemini pro has recently also opened beta access to their model that can process up to 1M tokens). In comparison, ChatGPT turbo currently sits at just 128k tokens, while the GPT-4 model available in the chat interface is only capable of 32k.

And trust me, a large context window makes a huge difference.

Because not only can you now upload huge amounts of data and reliably process the information in it, but your chat conversations can also go on for much longer and no information will be lost.

For example, here I am uploading all of my past newsletter posts and then telling Claude to write a new post in my style.

Right off the bat, you can see that Claude nails a few things.

First, the writing style and tone sound a lot like me. It's almost uncanny how well it captures my voice.

Second, Claude picks up on some important details about me and my work. For instance, it knows I'm a solopreneur and that I've been using Claude for copywriting tasks, which I've mentioned in a handful of posts.

Now the only reason Claude can't fully replace me and write this newsletter all by itself is that it still struggles to generate content with real substance.

It’s not capable yet to come up with original ideas and insights when I tell it to “write a post about Claude”, as I did here. E.g. It wouldn’t have come up with the tip to use XML tags, or that the vision capabilities are really useful for extracting text, as I did.

But here's the thing.

Claude is already a perfect human-level EDITOR.

It does an amazing job of turning my thoughts into polished, engaging language that sounds just like me.

I just need to feed it my ideas, do some smart prompting and let it turn my ideas into words.

Thanks for reading!

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