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Daily Archives: June 15, 2023

A Critical Look at AI-Generated Software

IEEE Spectrum: Coding with ChatGPT, GitHub Copilot, and other AI tools is both irresistible and dangerous – “Most recently, OpenAI launched ChatGPT, a large-language-model chatbot that is capable of writing code with a little prompting in a conversational manner. This makes it accessible to people who have no prior exposure to programming. ChatGPT, by itself, is just a natural-language interface for the underlying GPT-3 (and now GPT-4) language model. But what’s key is that it is a descendant of GPT-3, as is Codex, OpenAI’s AI model that translates natural language to code. This same model powers GitHub Copilot, which is used even by professional programmers. This means that ChatGPT, a “conversational AI programmer,” can write both simple and impressively complex code in a variety of different programming languages. This development sparks several important questions. Is AI going to replace human programmers? (Short answer: No, or at least, not immediately.) Is AI-written or AI-assisted code better than the code people write without such aids? (Sometimes yes; sometimes no.) On a more conceptual level, are there any concerns with AI-written code and, in particular, with the use of natural-language systems such as ChatGPT for this purpose? (Yes, there are many, some obvious and some more metaphysical in nature, such as whether the AI involved really understands the code that it produces.) The goal of this article is to look carefully at that last question, to place AI-powered programming in context, and to discuss the potential problems and limitations that go along with it. While we consider ourselves computer scientists, we do research in a business school, so our perspective here very much reflects on what we see as an industry-shaping trend. Not only do we provide a cautionary message regarding overreliance on AI-based programming tools, but we also discuss a way forward.”

A Heat Pump Might Be Right for Your Home. Here’s Everything to Know.

The New York Times Wire Cutter: “Heat pumps are good for your wallet—and the world. They’re the cheapest and most efficient way to handle both heating and cooling for your home, no matter where you live. They’re also better for the environment. In fact, most experts agree they’re one of the best ways for homeowners… Continue Reading

Nationwide study of the local, racially segmented resettlement of homeowners from rising flood risks

Managed retreat: a nationwide study of the local, racially segmented resettlement of homeowners from rising flood risks, by  James R Elliott and Zheye Wang Published 15 June 2023. Environmental Research Letters, Volume 18 Number 6 Focus on Natural Hazards, Disasters, and Extreme Events “The government-funded retreat of homeowners from flood-prone housing is a globally ascendant… Continue Reading

Via “The research-based website provides high-resolution gridded soil moisture products derived from in situ soil moisture measurements, Natural Resources Conservation Service SSURGO soil characteristics, and PRISM data. The project combines data from multiple federal, regional, and state agencies to create comprehensive data products for the United States, including Alaska, Hawaii, and Puerto Rico. These products… Continue Reading

Women’s Prize for Fiction winners

Abe Books: “Discover all the winning novels since 1996 – Since 1996, the Women’s Prize for Fiction has recognized and celebrated the best fiction by women writers around the world. Bestselling novelist and playwright Kate Mosse founded the UK-based award to champion women in the male-dominated awards scene. Despite writing 60% of books published, by… Continue Reading