“Can ChatGPT write code?” That’s a question we’ve been asked a lot recently.
In the ever-evolving world of technology, artificial intelligence (AI) continues to amaze us with its capabilities. But (and it’s a big but), can AI take on the task of accurately writing code?
In this blog, we’ll be taking you through the potential of ChatGPT, a powerful language model developed by OpenAI, to generate code and its implications for the field of software development.
What is ChatGPT?
In a nutshell – ChatGPT is an AI chatbot that can have conversations with people, and it’s designed to understand and generate human-like responses.
It has been trained on a lot of text from the internet, so it knows a lot about different topics. So, when you ask it a question or talk to it – it tries to give you a helpful answer based on what it has learned.
It’s an impressive technological advance, but it can have its drawbacks. For example, just remember that it doesn’t have real understanding or opinions like a human, so it’s always a good idea to fact-check the information it provides.
How Can Chat GPT Write Code?
So, as we touched on above, open AI describes ChatGPT as a natural language processing tool driven by AI technology which interacts in a conversational way.
This dialogue format makes it possible for ChatGPT to answer follow-up questions, and it can also admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests. Its ability to interact in human-like conversations means that it can also assist you with tasks such as writing code, essays, and composing emails.
ZDNet states that the “possibilities are endless” with ChatGPT and have created many ChatGPT how-to guides, which you can view here.
Many people are asking, ‘Can ChatGPT write code?’, the simple answer is yes, it can write useful code. However, there’s also a chance that ChatGPT can get completely lost and misunderstand what’s required.
Unlike a search engine, ChatGPT doesn’t have the ability to search the internet for information. Instead, it relies on the information it’s learned from training data to generate a response. This, of course, leaves room for error.
The Benefits of Using Chat GPT to Write Code
So, whilst this is a relatively new development, there are already some known benefits to using ChatGPT to write code.
Some people may believe that using Artificial Intelligence to write code means that you’re unable to think for yourself and using this out of laziness or lack of knowledge. Whereas others believe that utilising ChatGPT allows you to program much faster, giving yourself more time to focus on best practices and other business needs.
Generally speaking, ChatGPT gets syntax right, which can save you time resolving errors which inevitably occur when we code from scratch. ChatGPT also offers alternative ways of coding that you might not have considered yet, opening your eyes to make improvements or changes that you wouldn’t have otherwise been exposed to. This also makes it faster and easier to learn new concepts and languages, with everything housed in the same interface.
When it comes to growing your coding skills, ChatGPT can help to reduce the amount of time needed to learn a new programming language or feature.
It does this by effectively compiling information from its training sources and presenting them in one interface. Essentially, it acts as a tutor whilst you’re writing and reading code, offering you an alternative way to work whilst explaining what the code does.
Another great benefit of learning through ChatGPT is that for input and output, it uses natural language, allowing you to ask questions in plain English without having to learn the exact technical jargon or syntax first.
The Risks of Using ChatGPT Coding
As with many tools, there are risks and limitations – and ChatGPT isn’t an exception.
Firstly, ChatGPT can sometimes write answers that sound plausible at first glance but are just plain incorrect.
This is a difficult problem to fix, as by training the model to be more cautious, you’re simultaneously training it to decline questions that it could answer correctly. This could also mislead ChatGPT as the ideal answer we’re looking for should be dependent on what the model knows, not what the human demonstrator knows.
ChatGPT also has a tendency to overuse certain phrases, for example, repeatedly stating that it’s ‘a language model training by OpenAI’. This could happen because of biases in the training data and issues with over-optimisation.
Ideally, ChatGPT would ask clarifying questions when asked an ambiguous query, however, current models attempt to guess what the user intended, offering a poor service.
Another limitation of ChatGPT is that it’s sensitive to attempting the same prompt multiple times or certain phrasing.
You could phrase a query in a certain way that the model claims not to understand, but rephrased slightly, it could answer the query correctly.
There’s also a risk of ChatGPT responding to harmful instructions or exhibiting biased behaviour, which could be highly dangerous. An attempt is being made to block or warn about certain types of unsafe content, however, this will likely result in some short-term false negatives and positives. Human, user feedback is key to improving this system.
Whilst ChatGPT can give you an entire code file, it’s unable to fully understand best practices for your business and won’t know how certain code will react with another code.
You’re still responsible for the code, as ChatGPT doesn’t understand the requirements around privacy, accessibility, performance and security which could be incredibly risky.
Ways to Use ChatGPT as a Developer
In addition to using ChatGPT to write code, there are many other ways that a developer could use ChatGPT to improve efficiency.
It can help you refactor, explain code, fix bugs, and write test cases, all of which will save you time. TechTarget states that developers will need new skills to succeed in an AI-based industry, and whilst ChatGPT writes code, it won’t replace developers.
Yes, it is a versatile tool, and when used correctly, it can be highly effective. But, ChatGPT doesn’t necessarily threaten the jobs of any developers – as humans are much more skilled than robots at critical thinking, analysis, creativity, optimisation, and architecting.
Being able to utilise ChatGPT means that developers won’t need to spend as much time writing code and can therefore focus on other essential areas, such as cybersecurity or complex application architecture.
Developers will need to understand how ChatGPT works so that they can ask the right questions and validate the answers. ChatGPT takes the tedious work out of the equation, accelerating work to improve the performance of developers.
Whilst ChatGPT has its benefits and limitations, it’s certainly a powerful tool to boost your software development skills and aid you in learning a new programming language.
Chat with Our Expert Developers At Maxweb Today
To summarise our article – while ChatGPT is not a dedicated code-writing tool, it can still be a valuable asset in your coding endeavours when used appropriately.
It shouldn’t be the sole marketing tactic for your business, but it can provide assistance and enhance your coding efforts.
If you’re interested in seeing what talented, human developers can do for your business – reach out to us today. From crafting apps to building exceptional quality websites and bespoke CRM systems, find out how we can help you grow by contacting us at 0151 652 4777. Or, get in touch by filling out our contact form, and one of our team will be sure to get back to you.
Posted on Friday, June 2nd, 2023 in Web Development.