Andre Bandarra's Blog

A Glimpse into how ChatGPT could be used for coding

There’s a lot of discussion out there around how AIs such as ChatGPT will impact Software Engineering - from making programmers redundant, to becoming an assistive, to not changing anything. Personally, I lean more towards the assistive side and, this week, I had an experience that might relate to how it could be used.

The task was unrelated to software engineering. I was helping someone to get an article translated from English to Brazilian Portuguese - my mother language. Fully automated translation frequently generates awkward results, but I wanted to use Google Translate as a tool to help me with the translation.

So, my approach was interactive - Some bits I’d translate myself and be confident about it, without bothering to ask AI for help. In other bits, I’d do the translation, then ask the AI to translate and check if what it provided was better than what I came up with - sometimes it was, sometimes it wasn’t. In other cases, when I felt I couldn’t come up with a good translation, I’d ask AI to do it first, then tweak the results.

The back and forth between Google Docs and Google Translate was a bit awkward, and a specialized UI for this type of interactive workflow would go a long way to increased productivity and leverage Google Translate for this use-case.

Could the interaction with AI for programming look something like that? Maybe yes… maybe no… but I’m looking forward to what will come out of it!

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