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Are ChatGPT and AlphaCode Going to Replace Programmers?

By Nature

December 9, 2022

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DeepMind has published results showing that AlphaCode, its deep-learning model coding platform, beat about half of humans at code competitions.

Also, social-media users have been struck by the ability of ChatGPT from OpenAI to produce occasionally meaningful-sounding mini-essays on request — including short computer programs. But these state-of-the-art AIs can perform only rather limited tasks, and researchers say they are far from being able to replace human programmers.

The two systems use "virtually the same architecture," says Zico Kolter, a computer scientist at Carnegie Mellon University. "The main difference, if there is any, is that they are simply trained upon different data sets, and thus for different tasks."

Whereas ChatGPT is a general-purpose conversation engine, AlphaCode "was designed and trained specifically for competitive programming, not for software engineering," says David Choi, a research engineer at DeepMind and a co-author of the paper published in Science.

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