As basically everything that happens nowadays (Including technology), “stuff” (new ones) tends to have its one or two weeks of fame where everybody is talking about it; hundreds of “gurus” magically appears from nowhere, and everybody panics thinking that now, finally, we are doomed as this new technology will take over and destroy our jobs.
So, now the maelstrom has passed and we can talk more seriously (and calmly) about ChatGPT. Although, I don’t necessary pretend to talk about it in the same way that others (the gurus) have been talking, giving shallow advice just to capitalize the fast food consumerism style that also applies to tech, but I want to put focus on the “doomed” part.
No, we are not doomed!
First of all, it has been demonstrated countless times that ChatGPT answers tends to don’t be that accurate as some promoters usually asseverate. For sure, if you ask about absolutely well-known and documented information, you might get what you are looking for, but if you go a little bit deeper, ChatGPT quickly start to fabricate information, introducing incorrections or simply gross mistakes.
I am not interested on analyze why ChatGPT does that or how AIs works. That’s is for a different post. But to what I am interested is to understand that the reason we are not doomed is exactly this one: ChatGPT buoy on the surface of the matter, and to detect this you MUST know about the topic.
This makes you, especially developers with years of experience, much more necessary than ever. Your knowledge overpass what this type of AI could produce. And I can prove this with a really basic example:
This was a simple prompt: Create a function to navigate a binary tree. The answer seems legit, right? Well, yes and no. Yes, this will do navigate the binary tree, but will throw a call-stack error. So, as developer, you spotted that, because you know that and you will never produce code with this flaw.
Because you know this you ask the AI about the error and then:
Now the code might look better but as I said, you KNEW it beforehand, so you corrected the AI.
But, what all of this has to do with the “we are doomed“? Well, the “gurus” and promoters rushed with this type of messages: This AI will change everything! Now we will be able to write applications in minutes… and many other nonsensical hysterias that, for people that don’t work with code or is not involved with technologies or do not understand how software is made, resonated as a cutting cost silver bullet.
Now imagine copying and pasting the first code and find that your application fails once it is deployed into production?
Anyhow, thinking that we are doomed, that we are not need it anymore is a basic way of thinking. Wishful thinking may I say, that sadly it is more predominant in our industry than we could imagine. I could say that the ones really doomed are those that believe this type of tools will help them to produce applications in seconds and have less developers in their teams.
The problem is the self-called gurus
Yes, the problem are the “gurus” but moreover the tech-fashion way of thinking. The need to be on top of the tech market constantly showing something new and “revolutionary”. All of this has a root on how companies need to show-off, but that is also a different discussion. What it is part of this trend of craziness is the need of those gurus to attract likes and comments, to capitalize trends: Cryptos, NFTs, blockchain, AI, ChatGPT.
And sadly, we fall on their nets.
We need to learn on silence the noise coming from those promoters and be able of giving us enough time to explore the solutions by our own. To don’t rush on embrace something just because is new. We will not be missing anything important if we take a little bit more time, actually, we can gain knowledge and be better prepared if that new tech is the right fit for our developments.
Anyhow, this is “fashion” trend is not just something that happened with ChatGPT. It has been like this almost always. There is another post of mine from several years ago in which I was discussing why DataSets (.Net) were bad and how they become a trend at that time harming applications. And even so, regardless it obvious problems, developers adopted it just because was the trending tech to use.
So, don’t rush, analyze what you are incorporating into your toolbox, be sceptic with those gurus, learn before use something!
I’ve been playing with ChatGPT for months and I have found errors not only on tech topics. In any case, I would like to show you another interesting prompt that I asked.
For this case I asked about jsGFwk. If you have been following my blog you already know that I am the creator of this framework. So, it was interesting to find as a first answer basically what it is in the read me file of the framework repository.
But what happened when I asked about who created this framework?
Yes, the date (2012) it is more or less accurate but the rest of the information is false. So, I must be missing something. What happen if we ask a little bit more?
Again, false and fake information. But ChatGPT might be seeing something that we are unable to. So, I tried to search the name of the “creator” of jsGFwk and see what Google brings us back.
And yes, nothing!
In any case, this post is not a critique to ChatGPT (I suppose this is already clear), but to us, as technology specialists and our role when adopting and promoting a particular technology. ChatGPT attracted huge attention and I am referring to it in this post, but this, as I already said, have happened countless times in the past with many other technologies that today have become “de facto” tools which actually, aren’t that good or suitable for all the use cases out there.
Dig deeper before adopt a tech!