Reply to post: We've been here before...

Boffins foresee most software written by machines in 2040

oldtaku
Meh

We've been here before...

Yes, you may be able to get rid of code pigs - you may have something that does all the Java scutwork for your standard business reporting crap. Progress comes from encapsulating things - almost nobody needs to know asm any more, you don't need to draw your own UI windows, C# has data structures out the wazoo. But you're just moving the work higher, and then the work gets more complex. Maybe in the future database stuff will be so pedestrian it's seamlessly integrated.

But now you're going to need someone to specify exactly what you want - and people asking for things are notoriously, provably, bad at not knowing what they actually want. I remember the last time AI was going to get rid of programmers, and it ran right up onto the shore on this problem (and terrible performance, but we'll assume we have enough horsepower now).

If you assume maybe the generic stuff is good enough for most cases. You're still not going to be able to get rid of the software/system engineers - engineers solve general problems given constraints, and if you solve /that/, you've solved problem solving - and 'no programmers' will be the least of the impacts on society. No deep learning network has demonstrated anything like general problem solving or any penchant for it. If you could perfectly encode every bit of your problem and required software solution in an input and output vector one could understand, and you could do the same thing on all existing software to train it, maybe it would surprise you. But software is not minor fault tolerant like images, and who are you going to get to do that?

Is the ratio of code pigs to engineers 4:1, giving you 80%? Maybe. I find Jeff Bigham's comments more believable. AI will let software engineers tackle bigger and better problems and not worry about the lower level stuff.

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