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posted by hubie on Wednesday December 14 2022, @06:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the we-need-AI-bots-to-check-for-AI-submissions dept.

The Q&A site has been flooded with ChatGPT coding answers that look correct but often aren't, with moderators calling for a halt:

Stack Overflow, a site where developers can ask and answer coding questions, has temporarily banned the use of text generated from ChatGPT, a chatbot released by Open AI last week.

[...] Since launching, it's been prompted in numerous ways, including to write new code and fix coding errors, while the chatbot can ask for more context when a human asks it to resolve coding problems, as OpenAI sets out in examples. But Open AI also notes that ChatGPT sometimes writes "plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers."

This appears to be a key cause of its impact on Stack Overflow and its users who are seeking correct answers to coding problems. Additionally, because ChatGPT generates answers so quickly, some users are supplying lots of answers generated by it without parsing them for correctness.

[...] Stack Overflow says that ChatGPT answers have "swamped" its volunteer-based quality curation infrastructure because there are so many poor quality answers pouring in.

So far, Stack Overflow has detected posts generated by ChatGPT in the "thousands". The other problem is that many answers require a detailed analysis by someone with experience in the subject to determine if the answer is bad.


Original Submission

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Why OpenAI’s Codex Won’t Replace Coders 14 comments

Why OpenAI’s Codex Won’t Replace Coders:

This summer, the artificial intelligence company OpenAI released Codex, a new system that automatically writes software code using only simple prompts written in plain language. Codex is based on GPT-3, a revolutionary deep learning platform that OpenAI trained on nearly all publicly available written text on the Internet through 2019.

As an early Beta tester, I've had extensive opportunities to put both GPT-3 and Codex through their paces. The most frequent question I'm asked about Codex is "Will this replace human programmers?" With world powers like the United States investing billions into training new software developers, it's natural to worry that all the effort and money could be for naught.

If you're a software developer yourself—or your company has spent tons of money hiring them—you can breathe easy. Codex won't replace human developers any time soon, though it may make them far more powerful, efficient, and focused.

Why isn't Codex an existential threat to human developers? Years ago, I worked with a high-level (and highly compensated) data scientist and software developer from a major American consulting firm on a government database project. Our task was to understand how a state agency was using its database to assign grants to organizations, and then to advise the agency on how to improve the database.

AI Everything, Everywhere 32 comments

Dick Clark's New Year's Rockin' Eve has become a woke, sanitized shell of its former self. The crowd of rowdy, inebriated locals and tourists is long gone. What you see now is bouncing and screaming for the latest flash-in-the-pan artists while industry veterans like Duran Duran barely elicit a cheer.

Youtuber and music industry veteran Rick Beato recently posted an interesting video on how Auto-Tune has destroyed popular music. Beato quotes from an interview he did with Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan where the latter stated, "AI systems will completely dominate music. The idea of an intuitive artist beating an AI system is going to be very difficult." AI is making inroads into visual art as well, and hackers, artists and others seem to be embracing it with enthusiasm.

AI seems to be everywhere lately, from retrofitting decades old manufacturing operations to online help desk shenanigans to a wearable assistant to helping students cheat. Experts are predicting AI to usher in the next cyber security crisis and the end of programming as we know it.

Will there be a future where AI can and will do everything? Where artists are judged on their talents with a keyboard/mouse instead of a paintbrush or guitar? And what about those of us who will be developing the systems AI uses to produce stuff? Will tomorrow's artist be the programming genius who devises a profound algorithm that can produce stuff faster, or more eye/ear-appealing, where everything is completely computerized and lacking any humanity? Beato makes a good point in his video on auto-tune, that most people don't notice when something has been digitally altered, and quite frankly, they don't care either.

Will the "purists" among us be disparaged and become the new "Boomers"? What do you think?.

Original Submission

What to Expect When You're Expecting ... GPT-4 11 comments

Although ChatGPT can write about anything, it is also easily confused:

As 2022 came to a close, OpenAI released an automatic writing system called ChatGPT that rapidly became an Internet sensation; less than two weeks after its release, more than a million people had signed up to try it online. As every reader surely knows by now, you type in text, and immediately get back paragraphs and paragraphs of uncannily human-like writing, stories, poems and more. Some of what it writes is so good that some people are using it to pick up dates on Tinder ("Do you mind if I take a seat? Because watching you do those hip thrusts is making my legs feel a little weak.") Other, to the considerable consternation of educators everywhere, are using it write term papers. Still others are using it to try to reinvent search engines . I have never seen anything like this much buzz.

Still, we should not be entirely impressed.

As I told NYT columnist Farhad Manjoo, ChatGPT, like earlier, related systems is "still not reliable, still doesn't understand the physical world, still doesn't understand the psychological world and still hallucinates."

[...] What Silicon Valley, and indeed the world, is waiting for, is GPT-4.

I guarantee that minds will be blown. I know several people who have actually tried GPT-4, and all were impressed. It truly is coming soon (Spring of 2023, according to some rumors). When it comes out, it will totally eclipse ChatGPT; it's safe bet that even more people will be talking about it.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by krishnoid on Wednesday December 14 2022, @07:06AM

    by krishnoid (1156) on Wednesday December 14 2022, @07:06AM (#1282346)

    "plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers."

    Remember when they had that photo where people thought Melania was using a body double? I floated the "idea" that she never left New York, and you only ever saw her robotic doubles. She was trying to take over the world like Dr. Doom, and when you saw Melania next to Donald, she was the server rack and he was her AI text-generation-to-speech project in alpha-test.

    What does that have to do with taking over the world? Nothing, really -- but most people need at least *one* hobby.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14 2022, @08:47AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 14 2022, @08:47AM (#1282352)

    "plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers."

    Sounds like many Stack Overflow answers.

    But yeah this may increase the amount of incorrect answers from >50% to >90%?

    Seriously, the first bunch of AI generate code is probably going to be very similar to this. A high chance of plausible but wrong or exploitable stuff.

    • (Score: 4, Touché) by acid andy on Wednesday December 14 2022, @11:56AM (1 child)

      by acid andy (1683) on Wednesday December 14 2022, @11:56AM (#1282362) Homepage Journal

      Seriously, the first bunch of AI generate code is probably going to be very similar to this. A high chance of plausible but wrong or exploitable stuff.

      That's what always happens when you try and replace a skilled, talented programmer with the cheapest possible alternative. It's just this time it's an AI. Still, most corporations no longer seem to care that their products these days are broken trash that is completely unfit for purpose, so why should software be any different?

      Consumerism is poison.
      • (Score: 2) by krishnoid on Wednesday December 14 2022, @09:01PM

        by krishnoid (1156) on Wednesday December 14 2022, @09:01PM (#1282423)

        Because software is easily modifiable once bugs are found -- it doesn't require physical retooling, remanufacturing, and reshipping. At least that's what I used to think, until realizing that software being as buggy as it is even with those insurmountable advantages, is still one of my go-tos when I start to think that I might understand how product marketing works.

        SQLite [] is an example of good software, so you know it's possible, but like Hondas/Toyotas, the LaserJet 4250 [], they tend to be isolated cases rather than industry standards.

  • (Score: 1, Flamebait) by Frosty Piss on Wednesday December 14 2022, @12:02PM

    by Frosty Piss (4971) on Wednesday December 14 2022, @12:02PM (#1282363)

    plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers

    In other words, not much has changed. It's not a totally useless resource, but beware. And it's a bit like Wikipedia where you have these little princes defending their territory from their mom's basement.

  • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Thursday December 15 2022, @02:18AM

    by bzipitidoo (4388) on Thursday December 15 2022, @02:18AM (#1282451) Journal

    Don't know how bad these problems are on Stack Overflow, but on Quora, I've encountered insincere questions. The person asking isn't exactly interested in a plain answer. In one case, I suspected it to be a shill trying to promote MS products. Asked how to convert data to some format I'd never heard of before, and when I searched it, found out that it was an MS format, supposedly open. The askers could have searched that themselves. Seemed likely they were asking only to boost that format's popularity. Wouldn't surprise me if they had a bot spamming Quora participants with variations on that question. In another case, the question sure sounded like a homework assignment. In still another case, the question was how to construct a small zip file that when expanded would be so huge it would greatly exceed the capacity of the average data storage device. In other words, they wanted what is known as a zip bomb. Why would anyone want that? Not likely for research purposes!