Are coders doomed? That question has been bouncing around computer-programming communities ever since OpenAI’s large language model, GPT-3, surprised everyone with its ability to create html websites from simple written instructions.
In the months since, rapid-fire advances have led to systems that can write complete, albeit simple, computer programs from natural-language descriptions—spoken or written human language—and automated coding assistants that speed the work of computer programmers. How far will artificial intelligence go in replacing or augmenting the work of human coders?
According to the experts IEEE Spectrum consulted, the bad news is coding as we know it may indeed be doomed. But the good news is computer programming and software development appears poised to remain a very human endeavor for the foreseeable future. In the meantime, AI-powered automated code generation will increasingly speed software development by allowing more code to be written in a shorter time.