Will Coding Be Useless After Artificial Intelligence Can Write Flawless Code?

Will Coding Be Useless After Artificial Intelligence Can Write Flawless Code?

Human coding will survive, but the work we do as software engineers and data scientists may change. Rather than ask if GPT-3 will make coders obsolete. Let’s assume that at some point, AI can write flawless code. Will there still be a place for humans writing code? Yes.

Disclaimer: This is an opinion piece. I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Rather than ask if GPT-3 will make coders obsolete.

Let’s assume that at some point, AI can write flawless code.

Will there still be a place for humans writing code? Yes.


Coding is the most efficient way to communicate with AI

Code is designed to be as high-level and unambiguous as possible.

While considered a dark art to non-developers, most coding languages are more concise than spoken languages.

I’ll say that again. Writing out the logic of an application using English would take more words than writing it in Ruby or Python.

For this reason, telling AI what to build (while navigating edge cases and domain knowledge) may be more work than writing the code.

For example. A simple command to an AI assistant, “Buy me toilet paper” has a lot of assumptions baked in. These could be interpreted disastrously wrong if not coded as constraints in advance. How important is price? Softness? Delivery date? Quantity?

Coding forces an intelligent developer to consider these.

So while coding may become even higher level than it is now, it might be the most efficient way to talk to AIs.


AI-written code will need to be tested (with code)

Given that AI could be writing code pertaining to anything, the output space is potentially infinite.

So while you can monitor a self-driving car for 100 million miles to verify it’s safety, you can’t write tests covering an infinite space and number of domains.

This leaves us with having to test the AI-outputted code, rather than the coding mechanism itself.

As this should be approached in a logical manner, and allow retesting as applications change, it makes a lot of sense to write tests in code (at least in the beginning of AI’s development career).

machine-learning coding future-of-work artificial-intelligence technology

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