In five years time, some CTO will review the mysterious outage or technical debt in their organisation. (
from to on 17 Feb 2024 05:16

In five years time, some CTO will review the mysterious outage or technical debt in their organisation.

They will unearth a mess of poorly written, poorly -documented, barely-functioning code their staff don’t understand.

They will conclude that they did not actually save money by replacing human developers with LLMs.

#AI #LLM #LargeLanguageModels #WebDev #Coding #Tech #Technology @technology

#ai #coding #largelanguagemodels #llm #tech #technology #webdev

threaded - newest on 17 Feb 2024 05:24 next collapse

@ajsadauskas @technology lol you don't need LLMs to end up in that mess ... seen it everywhere on 17 Feb 2024 05:26 next collapse

@zenkat @technology Totally agree.


It's a surefire way to get yourself in that mess in rapid time, when you otherwise wouldn't. on 17 Feb 2024 05:27 collapse

@ajsadauskas @technology AI: do more stupid stuff faster! on 17 Feb 2024 05:26 collapse

NGL, was totally expecting a different last paragraph. 😂 on 17 Feb 2024 16:33 collapse

One sentence a paragraph does not make. on 17 Feb 2024 05:28 next collapse

@ajsadauskas @technology …and they’ll find themselves lapped by those who didn’t drink the LLM Kool-Aid. on 17 Feb 2024 14:08 collapse

If quality trumped speed and convenience how does McDonald’s stay in business? on 17 Feb 2024 15:40 collapse

@BrianTheeBiscuiteer McDonald’s actually puts a burger on the bun. Not the best, but adequate for a quick bite. General LLMs put bullshit into the ether. on 18 Feb 2024 01:16 collapse

Yes, adequate is the word. The tipping point doesn’t come when they’re “good”, it comes when they’re “good enough”. on 17 Feb 2024 06:01 next collapse

They will conclude that they did not actually save money by replacing human developers with LLMs.

The next CTO might realize that. If there hasn’t been a change in upper-level management, they’ll just double down and blame the few remaining human developers for the mess.

CTO’s are incapable of self-reflection. on 17 Feb 2024 06:14 next collapse

I haven’t seen any talk of wholesale replacement of developers with LLMs in my organisation. What has happened is that these tools have been made extensively available to developers. I think right now they are basically being assessed in terms of how much they help developer productivity. Not sure about other places though, I agree with the idea that it’s not really feasible to just straight up replace devs with an LLM. on 17 Feb 2024 23:48 collapse

Yes, they aren’t there… Yet. on 17 Feb 2024 06:15 next collapse

They’ll outsource to cheaper offshore LLMs. on 17 Feb 2024 06:16 next collapse

Lemmy (handshake) Fear of AI

Honestly, you guys sound exactly like people afraid of the computer in the '90s.

You’ll only develop incompetence in the new tool. on 17 Feb 2024 12:59 next collapse

Yeah the amount of good ai can do for the world is staggering, even just giving a speed boost and quality improvement to open source Devs will unlock a lot of new potential.

The problem is people in a certain age bracket often fear change because they feel they’ve put effort into learning how things work and if things change then all that effort will be worthless.

It doesn’t really matter though, gangs of idiots literally smashed the prototype looms when they were demonstrated because despite the cost of cloth being one of the major factors in poverty at the time a handful of people took it on themselves to fight to maintain the status quo – of course we know how it turned out, the same that it always does…

Areas that resisted technological and social growth stagnated and got displaced by those which welcomed it on 17 Feb 2024 13:29 collapse

“gangs of idiots” smashed the prototype looms because they knew they would put them out of work. And they were right, even though the machines were probably a net benefit for society in the end.

It will be the same with AI. If it ends up actually benefiting humanity as a whole, it will 100% be a side effect of a few assholes getting insanely rich, or from massive governmental regulation. on 17 Feb 2024 16:01 collapse

Were probably? That’s a giant understatement and you know it.

Ai will save billions of lives and improve the living standard for everyone on the planet, it’ll be just like mobile phones where the biggest benefits come to the poorest communities - tech haters often ignore this reality, millions of children in Africa, Asia, etc were only able to get access to education through mobile infrastructure.

The internet has given everyone access to huge amounts of education resources and it’s only increased as they technology matures - current LLMs are amazing for language learners and for people who need things like English articles explained in their own language, I just asked chatgpt to explain the code I’m working on in Tagalog and it did it without hesitation (I can’t speak for the accuracy personally but looks legit) it even translated variable names but not function calls.

And this before we’ve scratched the surface of it’s utility, I’ll tell you one thing if you ever say to your grandkids ‘o I was against ai when it came out’ they’ll look at up like you’d look at someone who said they didn’t think math would catch on or that iron would never be as popular as bronze. on 17 Feb 2024 09:29 next collapse

@themurphy In this case, the new tool requires no real competence to use. This is in fact one of the main reasons the quality of the work it produces is currently shit. on 17 Feb 2024 17:26 next collapse

That could be said of any tool as well, it ultimately comes down to the competence of the person using it, even if that’s a hammer or frying pan. on 17 Feb 2024 17:49 collapse

It’s only shit, if you don’t know how to use it. I’ve automated 15% of my work with scripts I wouldn’t have been able to without it. on 17 Feb 2024 20:25 collapse

@themurphy counterpoint: computers in the 90s actually worked on 18 Feb 2024 08:44 collapse

You are too deep in the AI hate if you don’t think it works. And too ignorant if you don’t think it will improve on 17 Feb 2024 06:25 next collapse

@ajsadauskas @technology A system that can’t balance brackets and is awful at math is gonna do great 👍 on 17 Feb 2024 08:49 next collapse

@ajsadauskas @technology Here's some data to back it up too 😊 on 17 Feb 2024 20:06 collapse

@veronica @ajsadauskas @technology The hype around AI in software engineering seems to be that it is ‘proven’ that devs produce code quicker. it is going to be interesting to see if the corporate world values code quality over development velocity. There seems to be a pervasive belief that “move fast and break things” is how the big guys do software engineering. A few points to note:
1. this idiom only applies when you fail fast, realize it, and address the problem that has been introduced.
2. Break things does not mean enshittify ie create tech debt by virtue of poor code
3. It really only applies if you have enough development resources to do the rework. That is to say, can afford to get it wrong often.
#AI #copilot on 17 Feb 2024 09:07 next collapse

@ajsadauskas @technology good prediction. This is basically what they always do with every overly-hyped technology. on 17 Feb 2024 09:16 next collapse

@ajsadauskas @technology I've been thinking for a while that I truly pity anyone who's going to have to maintain this AI-generated code. on 17 Feb 2024 09:19 next collapse

@ajsadauskas @technology I agree right up to the end. I think they'll conclude they need a more powerful LLM. on 17 Feb 2024 09:57 collapse

Good thing by then we’ll have oracle LLM. You may only use it for writing software. But we’ll definitely charge you for answering questions about life the universe and everything.

That’ll be all your profit this year minus the C-level bonuses please.

Average CTO: what a steal! on 17 Feb 2024 13:29 collapse

And the Web interface will be that of PeopleSoft! on 17 Feb 2024 13:58 next collapse

In 5 years time? We may be having a war against “Skynet” in 5 years. The tech is advancing at a scary fast pace. on 17 Feb 2024 14:23 collapse

Tha Superior Tech ™™™✓✓ writes garbage code that a 15 year old can produce after years of data hawking and information stealing. Newer models in 5 years may get at a university junior level of coding.

AI bros are on more skooma than Crypto bros

I use AI to write mundan code and I always have to almost rewrite everything anyway on 17 Feb 2024 17:10 next collapse

I don’t disagree, but I’ve heard this before. Assembly devs complaining about compiled languages. C/c++ devs complaining about every newer language. Traditional devs complaining about web developers. Backend web developers complaining about blogs/cms tools. Nearly everyone complaining about electron.

And honestly I think those folks had a point. The old stuff written when the tools were simple and memory scarce were almost works of art. The quality of software development (especially with regard to optimization) has been going downhill for decades. What ever the llms do will just be part of this trend. on 17 Feb 2024 17:16 next collapse

The use of LLMs though is more similar to outsourcing than it is to a new technology. No one is talking a out changing how we program, we’re talking about changing who does the programming.

While outsourcing has had its ups and downs, I think most companies have found that skilled technical people can’t really be outsourced easily/cost money everywhere. I suspect we’ll see a similar thing here with LLMs because the core compentcy that makes programmers/engineers expensive is knowing what to do, not how to do it. on 18 Feb 2024 10:13 collapse

Greatly put, offloading to llms is nothing like people choosing for “easier” high-level languages. They are not really easier as well, imo. on 17 Feb 2024 23:17 next collapse

Yep. This is the old school way of thinking that leads to things being shitty and not improving. “Why change if it’s not broke?” Cue Uber, Google, Netflix any tech company that replaced the old guards. on 18 Feb 2024 15:54 collapse

Which have all descended, or are in the process of descending, into suckitude because of business issues rather than technical ones. And trying to replace programmers with LLMs is fundamentally a business issue. on 18 Feb 2024 20:22 collapse

They may be failing but they have replaced the industry so it’s irrelevant.

  • Do you use Yahoo or AltaVista to search?

  • Do you still use taxis?

  • Do you use Blockbuster or subscribe to a standard cable package?

I’d wager you say no to all of them. So while the old may be right, it’s irrelevant because they were still outperformed and no longer exist or are just not as competitive.

Again, people get hung up on the best or right way to do things when the reality is that’s not how business works. on 19 Feb 2024 00:04 collapse

You’d lose that wager, actually—this area has at least two taxi companies but no ride shares (Uber and Lyft have very little penetration in Canada outside a few specific cities), and our household does subscribe to a standard cable TV package, although it’s mostly for the benefit of my elderly mother. Those companies have not been nearly as disruptive as some people think they have.

(As for Google’s search engine, I wouldn’t touch it with a barge pole these days. And Yahoo and AltaVista both sucked even when they were popular—I preferred InfoSeek, back in the day.) on 19 Feb 2024 00:12 collapse

Anecdotally sure, but for the majority of people I’d be right. And that’s what matters - at a small level you’ll have outliers but if you’re winning the majority of the market then you will crush your competitors. Again it’s irrelevant whether your code is good or efficient or replaced by llms so long as you are winning long enough to kill your competition. on 19 Feb 2024 00:54 collapse

Actually, what really matters is not the quality of your code or the disruptiveness of your paradigm, or whether you can outlive the competitors that existed when you started up, but whether you can keep the money coming. The rideshares in particular will fail over time in any country with labour laws that allow drivers to unionize—if the drivers make a sane amount of money, the company’s profits plummet, and investors and shareholders head for the hills. Netflix is falling apart already because the corporations with large libraries of content aren’t so happy to license them anymore, and they’re scrambling to make up the revenue they’ve lost. Google will probably survive only because its real product is the scourge of humanity known as advertising.

Again, it’s all business considerations, not technical ones. Remember the dot-com boom of the 1990s, or are you not old enough? A lot of what’s going on right now looks like the 2.0 (3.0? 4.0?) release of the same thing. A few of these companies will survive, but more of them will fold, and in some cases their business models will go with them. on 19 Feb 2024 01:07 collapse

I actually don’t disagree with you and think we’re on the same page. Basically, you can summarise our whole discussion as all companies are doomed to fail at end of day.

If you don’t change and innovate you will fail.

If you change and innovate too much you will fail.

Finding the middle ground is rough and most companies will fail.

[deleted] on 18 Feb 2024 10:10 collapse

. on 17 Feb 2024 19:37 next collapse

I think every CTO expects to inhereit technical debt, whether by overworked devs or overautomation on 17 Feb 2024 21:43 next collapse

That happens right now and usually it was the CTO that wrote that shit when the company was a startup. on 17 Feb 2024 23:37 next collapse

I dunno, humans are more than capable of doing this already. on 18 Feb 2024 02:12 collapse

Outsourcing is such a mixed bag. I have 2 projects outsourced to a company in India: one is magnificent and well documented and the other looks like a crack fiend wrote it. Both work, but only one is sustainable on 18 Feb 2024 10:54 collapse

Not five years, but this year itself