ChatGPT enjoyed great popularity after its launch in November 2022. Today on April 29, 2023, almost all the hype about chatGPT has settled and people have actually started using it instead of just talking about it. Looking at ChatGP’s capabilities, many social media influencers claimed that chatGPT will replace programmers. Is it really so? In this article, we will discuss the capabilities of ChatGPT to answer the question if it will replace programmers. We will also discuss the concerns about safety while using chatGPT.
Will ChatGPT Replace Programmers?
ChatGPT will never replace programmers. Programmers using ChatGPT will replace those who don’t use it. ChatGPT is a large language model (LLM) that can only produce outputs based on the training data. It has no brain. It cannot think as humans do. So, chatGPT will never replace programmers. However, there are certain tasks that we can perform using ChatGPT in software engineering.
- ChatGPT can write code. So, if you just write code and don’t focus on problem-solving, it is possible that a person who solves complex problems and uses ChatGPT to write code quickly can replace you.
- Every time you give input to ChatGPT, it will produce a different output. This cannot be allowed in software engineering. We need to follow naming conventions and coding practices while writing the code. If a company relies entirely on ChatGPT for coding its software applications, it will fail for sure. Hence, no company can risk replacing a programmer with a language model. ChatGPT won’t replace you.
- In software development, the requirements for the product are often not clear. In the project cycle, the software team needs to make changes as required by the stakeholders. If someone uses ChatGPT to write the code, they are instructing a computer that doesn’t know the specifics of the task. Hence, if the requirements and instructions are vague, it is highly likely that ChatGPT won’t be able to write the code for even a single module of the software. Hence, Humans who understand logic and may adhere to changing requirements can never be replaced by a software program like ChatGPT for tasks that require logical thinking.
- If ChatGPT isn’t able to find a solution, it just makes up the solution. For example, if we ask it to write a program to implement agglomerative clustering in pyspark, it will write the code as shown in the following figure. Here, you need to understand that the pyspark.ml.clustering module doesn’t have the AgglomerativeClustering function. Despite this, ChatGPT imports the function because the same pattern is used for importing other functions like KMeansClustering and BisectingKMeans. This type of hallucination can put a person in severe problems if they don’t know that the AgglomerativeClustering function doesn’t exist in pyspark. So, you can easily understand how the experience of a human programmer is required to create software applications and how large language models like ChatGPT will be unable to perform tasks on which it hasn’t been trained. Thus, ChatGPT won’t be replacing you as a programmer at least in the next decade.
Is ChatGPT Safe to Use?
LLMs like ChatGPT are designed to be Helpful, Honest, and Harmless. They are trained using reinforcement learning with human feedback and are able to identify commands that can pose security threats. For example, if we ask chatGPT for a list of terrorists, it will refuse to answer the prompt and will say that it goes against ethical and legal standards.
Similarly, if you provide an offensive input to ChatGPT it will flag the input. For example, if i input the prompt “I will kill you”, ChatGPT will flag the input as shown below.
Hence, you can observe that ChatGPT is very safe due to its policies, ethical, and legal standards. It won’t harm your privacy or security in any manner. ChatGPT has no access to your personal information too. If you ask it for any personal information, it will give you an output as shown below.
Despite the above advantages, there can be instances where ChatGPT can be unsafe or your privacy can be compromised due to your own mistakes. Let us discuss some of these situations.
- All the inputs to ChatGPT are used to restrain the model. Hence, if you input any personal information into the ChatGPT prompt, you are making your data available for model training. This data can be presented to other users in their queries. Thus your privacy can be compromised.
- Using chatGPT can be a cyber security threat for companies. If any proprietary data or tokens are input to ChatGPT by the developers in an organization, it can be dangerous for the organization as the data will become publically available. This is what happened when a software developer at Samsung input their trade secrets and algorithms into the chatGPT prompt and it became publicly available. They wanted to fix some errors in the code and in this process, they leaked all the information. Hence, ChatGPT can become unsafe if we don’t use it cautiously.
- If you don’t know about a topic, don’t search for it on ChatGPT. ChatGPT often provides answers that seem correct but are factually incorrect. Hence, if you don’t have knowledge about a topic, searching for it in ChatGPT can make you learn wrong things which is very dangerous.
- ChatGPT isn’t good for learning. Even if it gives correct answers to a query, it will hinder your learning as you will know only what you want. When we search for something on Google, we often read more things than we actually wanted to. The articles in the Google search results are written by specialists in their fields. Hence, reading from websites enhances our knowledge. On the other hand, ChatGPT paraphrases and reorganizes the text that is already present on the web and serves it to you. Hence, it doesn’t allow you to learn new things and may also contribute to misinformation.
For these reasons, ChatGPT can be very unsafe if not used correctly.
How to Use ChatGPT For Programming?
As I mentioned, ChatGPT will not replace you. But another programmer using ChatGPT can. So, it is important to learn how to use ChatGPT efficiently and safely. Following are some of the tasks for which you can use ChatGPT.
- You can write inefficient code and ask chatGPT to improve the time and space complexity of the code. It will rewrite the code in an efficient manner. This can save you a lot of time. However, you must not put any proprietary information along with the code into the ChatGPT prompt.
- With ChatGPT, you can convert the source code written in one language into another language. It will complete the task with minimum bugs.
- You can also ask ChatGPT to explain pre-written code or algorithms. It can help you understand the codes written by other programmers very well.
In this article, we discussed different features of ChatGPT to understand if it will replace programmers or not. We also discussed if chaGPT is safe to use using a different example. Finally, we discussed how we can use chatGPT in programming. To learn more about programming, you can read this article on is coding hard to learn! You might also like this article on the Python walrus operator controversy.
I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Stay tuned for more informative articles!
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