Monday, September 18

Geek

Daily News Stuff 18 September 2023

ChatGPT Or Not ChatGPT Edition

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  • ChatGPT is not coming for your programming job - unless you are a very bad programmer.  (Wired)

    Programming is hard.  Or rather, programming well is hard.

    It's rather like painting: Anyone can pick up a brush and do a quick doodle, but Rembrandts are far and few between.

    It's actually worse than painting: A painting just has to be pleasing to the eye to be passable (it requires more to be great, of course).  A program has to work.  And a program of even moderate complexity can be a machine with half a million interoperating components, every one of which exhibits non-linear response.
    FORTRAN was supposed to allow scientists and others to write programs without any support from a programmer. COBOL's English syntax was intended to be so simple that managers could bypass developers entirely. Waterfall-based development was invented to standardize and make routine the development of new software. Object-oriented programming was supposed to be so simple that eventually all computer users could do their own software engineering.
    None of that happened, because programming is a fairly specific skill.

    What did happen is that programmers could use these new tools to accomplish more complicated tasks more quickly.
    We've introduced more and more complexity to computers in the hopes of making them so simple that they don’t need to be programmed at all. Unsurprisingly, throwing complexity at complexity has only made it worse, and we're no closer to letting managers cut out the software engineers.
    ChatGPT - or its open-source successors, like ArbitraryCamelid-7B7 - could make a difference in certain areas such as feature tests and pen-testing.  But LLMs won't and can't by their nature replace programmers, because they don't understand what they are doing in the first place.

    The LLMs, I mean.  Often the programmers too, but the distinction is, not always.

    We'd require a different, older, and harder form of AI to do that, and right now nobody is even looking in that direction.


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Disclaimer: Bleah.

Posted by: Pixy Misa at 04:23 PM | Comments (2) | Add Comment | Trackbacks (Suck)
Post contains 615 words, total size 6 kb.

1 Don't forget, Java was supposed to make it so that Programmers couldn't make mistakes.

Posted by: Mauser at Tuesday, September 19 2023 12:43 PM (BzEjn)

2 The biggest mistakes I saw happening in the IT shops I worked at all traced back to decisions mandated by management.  To be honest, I also saw some really goofy stuff from programmers as well - but that was all small potatoes in comparison.

Posted by: Frank at Tuesday, September 19 2023 06:29 PM (JqCHh)

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Apple pies are delicious. But never mind apple pies. What colour is a green orange?




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