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Can ChatGPT Replace the Art of Programming? The Pros and Cons of Using AI as a Developer

As AI continues to advance, many are beginning to question whether it has the potential to replace human programmers. One such AI tool that has garnered attention in the programming community is ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI. So, what are the dynamics of using ChatGPT in programming?
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As AI continues to advance, many are beginning to question whether it has the potential to replace human programmers. One such AI tool that has garnered attention in the programming community is ChatGPT, a large language model trained by OpenAI. So, what are the dynamics of using ChatGPT in programming?

AI-assisted programming has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, with various AI-powered tools offering developers new ways to streamline their workflows and create more efficient and effective code.But while ChatGPT can certainly make programming easier and more efficient, IT specialists argue that it cannot fully replace the art of programming.

In this article, we explore how regional developers are using the language model in their work, whether AI will replace developers, and review the benefits and limitations of AI-assisted programming.

Increased productivity and making it easier for newcomers

One of the primary benefits of ChatGPT for developers is that it can significantly increase productivity. By automating certain tasks and providing suggestions for code completion and error correction, AI tools like ChatGPT can save developers a great deal of time and effort. This allows developers to focus more on the creative aspects of programming, such as designing new features and functionalities, and less on the more mundane aspects of writing code.

For many, using ChatGPT in programming is already paying off big time. At the same time, those that won’t start using such tools, risk being left behind in the ever-changing job market.

“ChatGPT will have a bigger impact on the world than Google. I can’t even work without ChatGPT anymore. If I do, then I will be 60-70% less productive. Not to mention that it also can be used as a tool for other professions such as journalism, writing essays, and so on. It has already changed my life. The programmers who are less likely to change their working ways, whether they like it or not, will have to eventually start using it in order to be competitive in the market,” UK-based senior flex developer Viktor Stevich tells The Recursive.

Furthermore, AI-assisted programming can make it easier for new developers to learn the ropes, as newcomers can quickly get up to speed on programming concepts and learn how to write effective code. This can reduce the learning curve and enable new developers to start contributing more quickly.

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“It has great potential, we are already seeing it with products like GitHub’s Copilot. And although it can produce errors, all in all I think it’s a very helpful tool. It can help less experienced developers, too. Just the other day, I needed to create an app that did a redundant task and ChatGPT coded the entire thing. To be fair, it did not work immediately, but sending the errors to ChatGPT ultimately debugged the app and it does work, which I think is amazing,” Infobip’s Chief Developer Experience Officer (CDXO) Ivan Burazin tells The Recursive.

Limitations and drawbacks that could lead to errors and flaws

While the advantages are pretty much clear, there are also a number of potential drawbacks to using ChatGPT in programming. For one, AI may not be able to capture the full range of human creativity and intuition that is necessary for programming,which could limit the range of solutions that are available, and lead to a loss of diversity in the programming community.

Additionally, there is a risk that AI may make mistakes that are difficult to detect, leading to bugs and other errors in code. This could ultimately result in software that is less reliable or less secure than it should be, IT experts point out.

“It’s definitely something that can make a developer’s job easier in terms of basic simple tasks that are repetitive, or can help developers look at a different approach/way/direction to solve a problem in debugging/programming without losing a lot of time in research online. However, since it is still unverified in terms of what it offers as a solution, the programmer should be experienced enough to know what this tool writes for him, if it is correct and safe, and to what extent he can use it in programming,” 28-year-old Skopje-based software developer Ivana tells The Recursive.

In order to avoid such issues, there’s an increased need for best practices for using such tools.

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“People definitely might need some training on ChatGPT because the way you ask the question is important to get the desired answer. Otherwise, it would be counterproductive and a situation where a developer spends 4 hours explaining themselves to ChatGPT,” she adds.

For doubters such as software engineer Baze Chavkoski though, using such tools is unnecessary because they are still very far away from producing trustworthy answers. Until tools like ChatGPT provide the sources of the information, too, this challenge will likely continue to detract usage.

“You don’t know if the answer is correct or not, it just happens to give the answer with great certainty, but who has confirmed that such answer is correct? For example, when you read something from a textbook, you can see who the author is – meaning that there is a responsibility for what is written in there. So this is something like fake news, you can never be sure to what percentage you can rely on the answer. Sure, for simple things ChatGPT will be correct many times, but for complex things there will be mistakes,so you’d still have to make sure and verify it with another source,” Chavkoski tells The Recursive.

ChatGPT won’t replace human developers anytime soon

Thus, one thing that experts agree on is that fully replacing developers with such AI tools might be far-fetched anytime soon.

“I know people’s imagination runs wild and there are ideas that it will displace developers soon, but I believe we are far off from it – and we are quite a bit away from being able to actually architect a complex system all on its own,” Burazin points out.

As these tools continue to evolve and become more sophisticated, they are proving more and more by each day that they have the potential to revolutionize the way we approach programming and software development.

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Whether they ultimately replace human programmers or simply enhance their capabilities, one thing is certain: the use of ChatGPT in programming is here to stay, and will continue to shape the future of technology in new ways.

 

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https://therecursive.com/author/bojanstojkovski/

Bojan is The Recursive’s Western Balkans Editor, covering tech, innovation, and business for more than a decade. He’s currently exploring blockchain, Industry 4.0, AI, and is always open to covering diverse and exciting topics in the Western Balkans countries. His work has been featured in global media outlets such as Foreign Policy, WSJ, ZDNet, and Balkan Insight.