In September 2020, Microsoft purchased an exclusive license to the underlying technology behind GPT-3, an AI language tool built by OpenAI. Now, the Redmond, Washington-based tech giant has announced its first commercial use case for the program: an assistive feature in the company’s PowerApps software that turns natural language into readymade code. The feature is limited in its scope and can only produce formulas in Microsoft Power Fx, a simple programming language derived from Microsoft Excel formulas that’s used mainly for database queries. But it shows the huge potential for machine learning to help novice programmers by functioning as an autocomplete tool for code. [Source]
I think this is a poor use case for GPT-3, although since we’re so early on that I suppose any use case is better than none. If the code has an error, you already need to be skilled in Power Fx to debug, and given my own experience trying to get GPT-3 to create CSS animations, that would be frequent. Especially assuming Microsoft has much wider access to re-training the algorithm to specialized use cases, expanded prompts, and anything else that comes with their owning the source code, I think they could be a lot less boring than this.
I wonder if this will be integrated into DevOps? There’s already a lot of ML and automation in DevOps pipelines today. It will probably be better at fixing bugs than writing code from scratch for a while.