Knowledge Engineers

The Shift from Prompt to Knowledge Engineering in Generative AI: Emphasizing Industry Expertise


The generative AI landscape is undergoing a significant transition, moving from the era of prompt engineering to the more sustainable realm of knowledge engineering. This shift highlights a change in focus from technical command of AI language to deep, industry-specific knowledge.

The Waning Role of Prompt Engineering

Prompt engineering, once seen as critical for effective AI communication, is becoming less relevant as AI systems evolve to better understand and interpret natural language. This trend signals a decline in the need for this specific skill set.

The Rise of Knowledge Engineering

Contrasting with prompt engineers, Knowledge Engineers play an increasingly vital role. Their primary qualification is not technical expertise in data management or familiarity with programming languages like SQL. Instead, their value lies in their comprehensive understanding of a specific industry.

The Essential Qualification: Industry Expertise

The crux of being a Knowledge Engineer is deep knowledge of a particular sector. For example, in the automotive industry, a Knowledge Engineer’s expertise in the ODB2 system and vehicle diagnostics is invaluable. They leverage this knowledge to enable AI systems to deliver nuanced, industry-specific insights.

Broader Implications Across Industries

This principle extends beyond the automotive industry. In every sector, from healthcare to finance, deep domain knowledge is what empowers a Knowledge Engineer. They bring context and specificity to AI applications, making them relevant and valuable in their respective fields.


The evolving role of Knowledge Engineers signifies a paradigm shift in AI application. It’s a move away from technical prowess towards sector-specific wisdom. This evolution is creating a new breed of AI professionals, equipped not with coding or data management skills, but with a profound understanding of their industry, ready to harness AI’s potential to its fullest.

Author: John Rector

John Rector is an AI Futurist who predicted the next word in business™, starting with his notable paper from 2015, "Mommy, What's a Cashier?" Drawing upon 40 years of experience in the practical applications of high technology, he assists clients in converting uncertainty into strategic advantages within a one-to-six-year framework. With leadership roles including IBM executive and co-founder of e2open, he has a diverse and impactful background. In the AI sector, he has set benchmarks through his contributions to Mind Media Group and Florrol, pioneering AI-based services and content generation. His investment initiative, Waterway Ventures, is committed to advancing promising AI startups. His creative ventures include founding Bodaro and graphic design studio Palm ❤️. In education, he has launched Nextyrn, which uses AI for personalized learning experiences, and in art, he leads Potyn, an initiative using AI to create bespoke pieces. His ever-expanding portfolio features companies like Nozeus, Infinia, Blacc Ink, and Maibly. Operating from Charleston, SC, his current focus involves partnering with individuals and enterprises to develop innovative business models and processes for the rapidly approaching age of AGI.

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