Exploring ChatGPT, By Shlok Bhusal
During my work experience placement at Sumobaby in July 2023, I had the opportunity to work with ChatGPT to assist me in accomplishing my assigned tasks.
The rise of AI has caused people to ponder: will AI replace programmers? Even though I have experienced the greatness of ChatGPT, I strongly disagree that AI will replace programmers.
While AI technology, such as ChatGPT, has demonstrated remarkable capabilities in natural language processing and generating code snippets, it is important to recognise the distinct skills and expertise that human programmers bring to the table.
Programmers possess a unique set of skills that go beyond writing code. They have a deep understanding of algorithms, data structures, software design principles, and problem-solving techniques. These skills enable them to tackle complex challenges, optimise code performance, and create efficient and scalable software solutions.
Moreover, programming is not solely about writing lines of code. It involves critical thinking, creativity, and the ability to understand and interpret user needs. Programmers often collaborate with clients, stakeholders, and cross-functional teams to design and develop software applications that meet specific requirements. They bring human ingenuity, intuition, and domain knowledge to the table, which cannot be replicated by AI systems alone.
While AI technologies can automate certain tasks, programmers play a crucial role in shaping and directing AI systems themselves. They design and train AI models, fine-tune algorithms, and ensure ethical considerations and biases are addressed. Programmers also have the expertise to understand the limitations and risks associated with AI, ensuring that it is used responsibly and ethically.
Furthermore, the field of programming is constantly evolving, with new technologies, frameworks, and programming languages emerging regularly. Programmers need to adapt and learn continuously to stay up to date with the latest advancements. This ability to learn, adapt, and innovate is a distinctly human trait that allows programmers to remain at the forefront of technological developments.
In summary, while AI technologies have the potential to augment and assist programmers in certain aspects of their work, the combination of technical expertise, problem-solving abilities, creativity, and human interaction makes it highly unlikely that AI will replace programmers entirely. The collaboration between humans and AI systems is more likely to be a symbiotic relationship, where programmers leverage AI tools to enhance their productivity and problem-solving capabilities.
Tips for using ChatGPT
Indeed, while ChatGPT is an incredibly useful tool, its interface and controls may feel overwhelming or unfamiliar to some users.
Here are some tips to help you navigate and make the most of your ChatGPT experience:
- Start with a clear objective: before interacting with ChatGPT, define your goal or objective. Clearly articulate what you hope to achieve or the specific problem you need assistance with solving. Having a clear objective will help you stay focused and guide your conversation with ChatGPT.
- Use system messages to guide the conversation: ChatGPT provides system-level instructions or messages at the beginning of the conversation. These messages can help set the context and guide the model’s responses. You can use them to specify the format you desire, ask ChatGPT to think step-by-step, or provide additional guidance to align the conversation with your needs.
- Use user messages strategically: user messages (your input) influence the model’s behaviour and responses. Structure your questions or prompts clearly and concisely. If needed, provide relevant context or specify the format you desire. You can also make your instructions more explicit by prefixing them with “You:” to guide the model’s response more directly.
- Be iterative and provide feedback: ChatGPT may not always provide the desired response in the first attempt. If the initial output is not satisfactory, iterate and provide more explicit instructions or rephrase your question. You can experiment with different phrasings or ask ChatGPT to consider alternative approaches. Additionally, providing feedback to OpenAI about problematic outputs can help them improve the model over time.
- Verify and validate responses: while ChatGPT can generate helpful suggestions, it’s crucial to verify and validate the information it provides. Cross-check responses with trusted sources, consult official documentation or seek input from domain experts to ensure accuracy and reliability.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can navigate the ChatGPT interface more confidently and effectively, harnessing its capabilities to assist you in your endeavours.
Can ChatGPT replace learning to code?
While ChatGPT can be a valuable resource for learning and getting assistance with coding, it cannot entirely replace the process of learning to code.
Here are my reasons . . .
- Understanding foundational concepts: learning to code involves grasping fundamental programming concepts, logic, algorithms, and problem-solving skills. ChatGPT can provide explanations and code snippets, but it does not replace the comprehensive understanding that comes from actively studying and practising these concepts yourself.
- Hands-on experience: programming requires hands-on practice to develop proficiency. Writing code, debugging, and troubleshooting are essential skills that can only be honed through practical experience. While ChatGPT can provide guidance, it cannot replace the hands-on learning process.
- Adaptability and creativity: coding involves creative thinking and adapting solutions to specific problems. It requires the ability to analyse and break down complex problems into manageable steps, develop innovative approaches, and create unique solutions. These aspects of programming rely on human creativity and intuition, which cannot be replicated by an AI model like ChatGPT.
- Real-world application: programming involves understanding how to apply coding principles and techniques to real-world scenarios. It often requires integrating with databases, APIs, frameworks, and other technologies, as well as considering performance, security, and scalability. Learning to code involves gaining practical experience in these areas, which may not be fully captured or replicated by ChatGPT.
However, ChatGPT can be a valuable complement to your learning process. It can help answer specific questions, provide guidance, suggest code snippets, or offer alternative approaches. ChatGPT can serve as a tool for exploration and clarification, aiding in understanding concepts and finding solutions. It can be especially helpful for beginners seeking guidance or developers looking for insights and perspectives from an AI model.
In summary, while ChatGPT can assist in the learning process and provide support for coding-related questions, it cannot replace the comprehensive learning, hands-on experience, creativity, and real-world application that come from actively learning to code. It is most effective when used as a tool alongside traditional learning methods, practice, and ongoing personal development in the field of programming.