GitHub Copilot

[00:00:00] **Aurooba Ahmed:** You are listening to View Source, a conversation around tech, web development, and WordPress with hosts Aurooba Ahmed, That's me and Brian Coords. Hello. Hello.

[00:00:12] **Brian Coords:** How are we doing today?

[00:00:15] **Aurooba Ahmed:** I'm doing good. How are you?

[00:00:17] **Brian Coords:** I'm watching my internet bandwidths and I'm making sure that it's living up to its very expensive potential, so how I'm doing is a proxy for how my internet bandwidth is doing today.

[00:00:30] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yes, we'll see how the gigabit internet works out.

[00:00:33] **Brian Coords:** Yeah, I think two sales techs, two sales, tech representatives just uh uh, basically swindled me and uh, you know what? If it works, it works, then I'm happy to be swindled.

[00:00:46] **Aurooba Ahmed:** That's fair. That's fair. Sometimes it's okay to give in only if it works though.

[00:00:50] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Otherwise you have to go back and complain, which is also annoying.

[00:00:55] **Brian Coords:** Yeah. And to be fair, there's only one internet here, so, uh, you know, [00:01:00] I guess I'm paying for

[00:01:01] **Aurooba Ahmed:** yeah, . All right. So what are we talking about today?

[00:01:07] **Brian Coords:** Today we're talking about GitHub co-pilot.

[00:01:12] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Hmm.

[00:01:13] **Brian Coords:** What should I explain?

[00:01:15] **Brian Coords:** The GitHub co-pilot is?

[00:01:17] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah, I think so.

[00:01:18] **Brian Coords:** Okay. GitHub co-pilot is an AI code pair programmer, I guess is the word they use for it. It's a little kind of robot that sits in your code editor and he has suggestions for code and he, uh, has, um, some skills like auto completing your code or letting you write comments and then completing all that code for you.

[00:01:43] **Brian Coords:** And he's a new service from GitHub.

[00:01:46] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Is it a he, is it a he? Is that the pronoun that they've decided on ?

[00:01:52] **Brian Coords:** that is, um,

[00:01:53] **Brian Coords:** I mean, wow. Um, that's a good question. Yeah. Uhhuh, .

[00:01:57] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Let's go with they.

[00:01:59] **Aurooba Ahmed:** [00:02:00] That's it. Okay. Then here is my question for

[00:02:02] **Brian Coords:** you. When you use voice assistance, do you have genders for them? And also do you say please and thank you to them?

[00:02:14] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Hmm. I. . I do say please, but I don't think I've ever said thank you and I never, I don't think I ever use pronouns for Siri, cuz I have an iPhone. I'll just be like, Siri's being dumb or Siri's not working. Why won't Siri work? Yeah. I don't think I ever use pronouns for the assistant. Do you?

[00:02:39] **Brian Coords:** Uh, yeah.

[00:02:41] **Brian Coords:** Uh, we in our house we say please and thank you to her. We. We use Siri a lot for like timers. I'm like a, oh, you know what? I had Siri in here and I took her out so I should be good. We use her for like the timer in the kitchen, like the little home pod, and when the timer goes off we say thank you, and she says, don't mention it, or something like [00:03:00] that.

[00:03:00] **Brian Coords:** She has like an Irish accent for some reason. Um, I,

[00:03:04] **Aurooba Ahmed:** mine is a British male.

[00:03:07] **Brian Coords:** Oh, I know there's a full psychology around presenting. Yeah, the, the. the comfort people have with male virtual assistance versus female. Mm. So to return to GitHub co-pilot, I think in my mind, when I looked at the, um, little avatar thing that they made for, it's like I, it's like a little helmet guy, like a little aviator helmet.

[00:03:31] **Brian Coords:** I don't know why. I mean, I know why it's an entire like, history and a cultural like programming that I have that I just turn him into. I, I'm just like, if we asked. , you know, chat GPT to describe a computer program or make a, an image of one. It would be a image of a male. You know, that's just a,

[00:03:50] **Aurooba Ahmed:** I mean, I would hope that chat GPT is a little more progressive than that and understands that it should maybe be not any gender, but you're right, you never know. [00:04:00]

[00:04:00] **Brian Coords:** I have very low expectations that any of these AIs will give you anything other than, I mean, all they do is take what they, you know what they've been given. Yeah. They're culturally programmed just like I am,

[00:04:13] **Aurooba Ahmed:** but that's why I have to argue back and be like, no, you can't just automatically assume it's a he.

[00:04:19] **Aurooba Ahmed:** We are past the time. I think I saw this on Mastodon uh, just the other day where it's like there was a time when he and him were like, what we used when we didn't know someone's pronouns, but now we have a better like term that we can use that we've all kind of accepted, which is they and them, right. When we don't want to know or don't know someone's gender.

[00:04:41] **Brian Coords:** Yeah. And. I don't know, like part of me wants to, I guess it doesn't, in my mind, I think I'm giving GitHub co-pilot, like, I'm like giving a personality. I am anthropomorphizing it basically.

[00:04:55] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Mm-hmm. . Mm-hmm.

[00:04:56] **Brian Coords:** and giving it human characteristics. So my brain will just [00:05:00] make the leap to also giving it a gender and it'll just pick the gender. That's,

[00:05:04] **Aurooba Ahmed:** yeah.

[00:05:04] **Brian Coords:** You would say like, the default for someone like me to pick, which is like, oh, he's clearly a guy, cuz. , you know, that's where my brain is gonna go, and that's what like my 30 plus years on this earth have like hammered into me. So I appreciate you pushing back on that , because, uh,

[00:05:21] **Aurooba Ahmed:** I think that's a, definitely a male think maybe, or like, maybe it's a Brian thing. No, it's definitely not just a Brian thing.

[00:05:27] **Brian Coords:** No,

[00:05:27] **Aurooba Ahmed:** but like, I never, that doesn't happen to me. Like, I don't automatically subs like give something a gender and like I have to like physic. Consciously say, oh, do I wanna give this thing a gender? And then I give it a gender? If I so wish, like I don't think of, even though I also think of the co-pilot as sort of like a personality, the thing that's happening in my machine, I almost never would say he, I would be like, oh my God, co-pilot. It is so cool. Not He is so cool.

[00:05:59] **Brian Coords:** I think, I feel [00:06:00] bad saying it. Obviously there's, we can use they, them pronouns for co-pilot I think would be maybe where I would lean, but yeah, I can't imagine it's just a Brian thing. I'm sure. I, I thinks,

[00:06:12] **Aurooba Ahmed:** no, it's not,

[00:06:13] **Brian Coords:** this is such not the topic of our podcast, but I do think, like when I think of the way that like my childhood was, and the way we would use.

[00:06:23] **Brian Coords:** You know, homophobic slurs or racial slurs or whatever, just in everyday conversation across everybody in a school or something like that, you know?

[00:06:34] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah.

[00:06:34] **Brian Coords:** And you're like, oh, that was like normal. Only until, I mean, not normal, it was terrible, but it was like, that was, that was just life for so many of us that like, you know, it takes a little time. To be,

[00:06:47] **Aurooba Ahmed:** you're right

[00:06:47] **Brian Coords:** to break out of that, that habit and like the things that even like a few years ago, you're like, whoa, that's crazy. So I think it's good I think it's good to bring it up.

[00:06:56] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Sounds like, yeah. I think it sounds like we might do an episode just [00:07:00] on like genderin tech.

[00:07:03] **Brian Coords:** Yeah. That will involve a lot of me not talking

[00:07:07] **Aurooba Ahmed:** No, but like, just like where it all comes from kind of, and our own experience with it. But anyway, now we know what co-pilot is. So that's good. What are your thoughts on it? Did you try it?

[00:07:20] **Brian Coords:** Yes, I tried co-pilot. Um, I, I really was positively surprised by co-pilot because I really did not think that something would be able to, like, I don't even use code snippets that often, like pre-programmed.

[00:07:45] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Right.

[00:07:45] **Brian Coords:** I, I just feel like, uh, but then. That's like most of what copilot was when I was using it. It's like, here's a snip, like you start writing, here's the rest of what we think you're gonna write. But like, we also know what variables you've been using on this page. We also [00:08:00] know what, um, you know, libraries you're using.

[00:08:02] **Brian Coords:** We also know like all these other things and it's like

[00:08:05] **Aurooba Ahmed:** the smart snippet.

[00:08:06] **Brian Coords:** It's insane. Do you use it?

[00:08:09] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah, so I started using it a little while ago and I, I, I, I pay for it now. Like, I, I don't want to code without it. It's freaking awesome. Um, it, like, sometimes I just like will write a comment about something that's like, something really basic, like, Like customizing the query in WordPress, be like, just customize this for me to do like 24 posts and then it'll make me the function.

[00:08:34] **Aurooba Ahmed:** It'll follow like the way I write the names of my functions and it will just do it. And I'm like, great. I knew how to do that, but I didn't have to write it because it's something I do all the time and it's fantastic.

[00:08:45] **Brian Coords:** That's, I have not gotten, there's actually, there's only been one time where I started naming a function and it was like, sit down, I'll, I'll write this function for you.

[00:08:55] **Brian Coords:** And it did and it was, and. , it was even like, the [00:09:00] example was, it was like a social sharing link and it was like a function, like I pass you a link and you return like the Facebook link or whatever. Yeah. And it knew that Facebook doesn't take, uh, you can't like send text with a link. You can only just send a link.

[00:09:14] **Brian Coords:** Whereas like LinkedIn you can send like some little text with it or a tweet or whatever. It's like it knew all those things. I mean, doesn't know it, but it's just like, well, of course

[00:09:23] **Aurooba Ahmed:** It understand this.

[00:09:24] **Brian Coords:** This function's been written a thousand times before, so it was like

[00:09:27] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Exactly.

[00:09:28] **Brian Coords:** You're not breaking new ground here.

[00:09:30] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah. I tested it with one of the APIs that I use a lot. So there's this simple MailChimp API wrapper for PHP that I use whenever, whenever I'm integrating like a site with MailChimp, and I said, okay, use Drew M's MailChimp API and here's the API key and I wanna subscribe to this list. I wrote that in a comment and it just did it. And all I had to do was pull the API like file into my project, and that's it.

[00:09:56] **Brian Coords:** That is, it's just, um, [00:10:00] it, it kind of, it kind of freaked me out because

[00:10:03] **Aurooba Ahmed:** mm-hmm.

[00:10:04] **Brian Coords:** I think there's a sense that like, oh, . This is not a job that a, like a, a robot could do. And, and like you.

[00:10:11] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah.

[00:10:11] **Brian Coords:** I do think the other flip side of it is like, if you kind of don't know what you're doing, you're probably not gonna get what you need.

[00:10:18] **Brian Coords:** And you're, because I, I found that I constantly had to go in and like, oh yeah, I need to fix this part or change this little part, but it's like,

[00:10:25] **Aurooba Ahmed:** mm-hmm.

[00:10:26] **Brian Coords:** I'll change like 10 characters. But you wrote like a thousand characters for me. It's definitely right, efficient, but like you still have to go through each line and kind of be like, yeah, that's not exactly right, or I don't want my variables named that way, or whatever.

[00:10:38] **Brian Coords:** Um,

[00:10:38] **Aurooba Ahmed:** yeah.

[00:10:39] **Brian Coords:** But I don't know. I, it's, it was almost scary.

[00:10:44] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah. And it learns from you for sure. Because I was having that issue too in the beginning where it was naming variables in a way that I didn't like, and I kept fixing it, and then it just started doing it. Right.

[00:10:54] **Brian Coords:** Oh really?

[00:10:55] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah, so it's definitely learning from the code that you're like committing.

[00:10:59] **Aurooba Ahmed:** And [00:11:00] also because of the fact that it's trained on like everything open source, and we work in WordPress and so much of WordPress code is open source. You know, we'll talk about like plugins, the actual core Gutenberg, everything that it just, it knows the protocols, it knows the standards that we are expecting, and it can just use that to give you the right stuff. It's,

[00:11:21] **Brian Coords:** yeah. I also tested it with Laravel cause I was working on like a Laravel project.

[00:11:26] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah.

[00:11:26] **Brian Coords:** And it was even Laravel like Livewire, which is

[00:11:29] **Aurooba Ahmed:** mm-hmm.

[00:11:30] **Brian Coords:** I think relatively new and like, pretty, like bespoke of like a, a way to build things. You know, like it's, it's very specific, you know, to build the

[00:11:38] **Aurooba Ahmed:** that's true.

[00:11:39] **Brian Coords:** Live wire component for Laravel

[00:11:41] **Aurooba Ahmed:** yeah.

[00:11:41] **Brian Coords:** And, but there's a lot of that stuff where you just go like, all right, here's my model. Create, here's all the variables I need to pass it. I need to declare 'em up here. I need to pass 'em here.

[00:11:52] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Mm-hmm. .

[00:11:52] **Brian Coords:** And it is, . Sometimes I feel like you hit that point in program where you're like, oh, this isn't really that fun cuz I'm just writing.

[00:11:59] **Brian Coords:** It's like, just write [00:12:00] faster. Just like get it out.

[00:12:01] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah.

[00:12:01] **Brian Coords:** And let me like, yeah, keep moving. And it like, it flips that switch to where you're like, cool. It declared all the variables. It knew what they were gonna be.

[00:12:10] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Mm-hmm.

[00:12:11] **Brian Coords:** it completed all the lines of code. Sometimes it's wrong.

[00:12:13] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah.

[00:12:13] **Brian Coords:** But like in a minor. I mean,

[00:12:16] **Aurooba Ahmed:** yeah.

[00:12:16] **Brian Coords:** So yeah, I, it definitely gets very aware of your code very quickly.

[00:12:24] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah. You know, I think it's a little bit like going from an abacus to like a TI83 calculator, you know?

[00:12:32] **Brian Coords:** Mm-hmm.

[00:12:32] **Aurooba Ahmed:** um, It helps you do the stuff that's super mundane really quickly, but you still have to know how to do it in order to be able to make any like good use of it.

[00:12:42] **Aurooba Ahmed:** You know what I mean? Like instead of you having to do this small, tiny things, you can think a little bit more higher level thinking about your code more strategically and let it do the simple everyday common tasks. So it's like a, what do they call? , um, in like, you know, like, uh, like [00:13:00] grunt work. It's the grunt work.

[00:13:01] **Brian Coords:** Yes.

[00:13:02] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah.

[00:13:02] **Brian Coords:** But like, does that for you? This is where I kind of go back and forth because on the one hand, . It's like when they were like laying out newspapers and they were literally cutting and pasting and like gluing.

[00:13:13] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah.

[00:13:14] **Brian Coords:** The, the articles together and then somebody invented like layout software and like clearly

[00:13:19] **Aurooba Ahmed:** mm-hmm.

[00:13:19] **Brian Coords:** it makes everybody more efficient. Maybe some people lose jobs, maybe certain skills and stuff, but like also there is like a path where you kind of do have to get through grunt work to like get good at something and like, I don't think that's gonna go away, but it just, it'll definitely change I think the dynamic because like the skill you're learning is, is just gonna be a different skill than like sitting down and just writing some code.

[00:13:47] **Brian Coords:** It's, you know,

[00:13:48] **Aurooba Ahmed:** yeah.

[00:13:49] **Brian Coords:** When your code writes, starts to write itself, I feel like that changes the, your relationship with grunt work that maybe was necessary as part of the learning process. . [00:14:00]

[00:14:00] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Well, maybe it will change the way we have to learn instead, right? Like instead of having to just learn, actually learn how to do it, we still have to understand the high level concepts and then be able to assess and evaluate better.

[00:14:14] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Because something that I've always noticed with junior developers that they're not very good at, like assessing their own code. or even anyone else's code. Right. And that's a skill you develop over time as you look at your own code and you look at other people's code and you learn how to read code better.

[00:14:28] **Aurooba Ahmed:** But if you have an AI reading, writing the code for you, you are forced to read it. Maybe you'll start to develop those skills earlier.

[00:14:36] **Brian Coords:** Yeah. That's probably a good point.

[00:14:37] **Aurooba Ahmed:** That's virtue you having to do it. Yeah. .

[00:14:39] **Brian Coords:** Yeah. Cuz that is like, that's like the thing, like if you look back at a project you wrote a year ago and you don't

[00:14:45] **Aurooba Ahmed:** mm-hmm.

[00:14:45] **Brian Coords:** like cringe a little bit, then like,

[00:14:47] **Aurooba Ahmed:** yes,

[00:14:47] **Brian Coords:** that's not a good you, you know, like, like that's where you want to be. But yeah. You know, at the end of the day I, I think I constantly say that feeling of, I just want to code faster, but [00:15:00] I don't wanna like feel stressed, but I do wanna just get more stuff done because you're like, there's so many things I wanna do.

[00:15:05] **Brian Coords:** Build, create,

[00:15:06] **Aurooba Ahmed:** yeah.

[00:15:06] **Brian Coords:** Projects I wanna work on. I don't really wanna spend 20 hours if I could spend three hours and then get to do another thing and another thing. And it's

[00:15:14] **Aurooba Ahmed:** I agree

[00:15:14] **Brian Coords:** a little bit weird that it enables that, but I hope it's helpful.

[00:15:19] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Do you think it's a bad thing? It's a like, do you think it's bad that we have this.

[00:15:25] **Brian Coords:** Um, well, I think there's a conversation about ethics to be had.

[00:15:29] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Mm-hmm. .

[00:15:30] **Brian Coords:** Um, but apart from that, I think, I think that it's definitely going to change what it means to write code. I think that's a crucial part. I think it's,

[00:15:46] **Aurooba Ahmed:** yeah,

[00:15:46] **Brian Coords:** gonna just increase the amount of code that's out there and it becomes harder and harder if you're writing so much code, but you're not even really writing it, you know?

[00:15:55] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Right.

[00:15:56] **Brian Coords:** It it's like the Google algorithm where like they say like no [00:16:00] single Google engineer really can describe the entire thing, cuz they all just work on these little pieces of it. It's too big for a human brain. You know?

[00:16:08] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Right.

[00:16:09] **Brian Coords:** Those are the things I don't, I don't think I articulated even a single thought of why that's bad , but it feels bad when I say it out loud.

[00:16:19] **Aurooba Ahmed:** I think that we as humans are just not very good at trusting things that feel bigger than us and bigger than what we can grasp in our own brains, like you just said. I think that that's a fallacy because almost everything in the world is bigger than we can grasp in our brains. It's just that we have this ability to focus on just the parts that are relevant to us, and when we're forced to face the fact that we can't, that's scary, but it's a reality that's everywhere.

[00:16:48] **Aurooba Ahmed:** I mean, do you really know everything that goes on in order to make the wifi happen in your particular room? Everything?

[00:16:55] **Brian Coords:** But we did start this conversation saying that [00:17:00] AI is constantly just reinforcing our own terrible cultural biases, including my

[00:17:06] **Aurooba Ahmed:** mm-hmm.

[00:17:06] **Brian Coords:** gender biases. That I promise you. In fact, um, there was an article recently where um, someone we know basically did, you know, one of those image generators and it like, changed her race and gender and stuff in just crazy ways and, and it oversexualized all the images and stuff. And it was all these things, but it was all these biases because it's only training on human data. So i,

[00:17:29] **Aurooba Ahmed:** which is flawed and biased. Yep.

[00:17:32] **Brian Coords:** And I don't really worry about code. To me code is not. that I, I'm as worried about it, but like the products we build with it, you know, definitely affect everything from like, whether you get bail when you go to jail.

[00:17:47] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah.

[00:17:47] **Brian Coords:** Or, you know, all those sorts of like your credit score and, and how much you are paying for the same car payment that somebody else would be paying.

[00:17:54] **Brian Coords:** You know, all these things are

[00:17:55] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah.

[00:17:56] **Brian Coords:** You know, affected by it

[00:17:57] **Aurooba Ahmed:** a hundred percent. Which means it's even more [00:18:00] important that we are aware of the bias that we're training our AI on for.

[00:18:05] **Brian Coords:** Yeah.

[00:18:06] **Aurooba Ahmed:** I don't know how I would personally play into that. Like me as a day-to-day developer building websites and bespoke apps on the web, I can be aware of it. But like when I think about it, am I doing something that will be training it to do that kind of like enable that kind of bias? I don't know. Uh, I couldn't think of an example in my life where that's happening, but it could be happening and I just don't know it. I don't know.

[00:18:36] **Brian Coords:** yeah, it, I think one really good example for like web developers is like the choices you make around accessibility. Like that's, that's your decision to say like, Do I, do I want what I build to, you know, be accessible to everybody regardless of their situation or not. So like, you know, there, there are those times for those sorts of decisions that we get to make, but like writing a function [00:19:00] that like, you know, reverses an array for you or something like that, probably,

[00:19:04] **Aurooba Ahmed:** yeah.

[00:19:04] **Brian Coords:** Exists below the level of like , you know, oppression or anything. I don't know, I

[00:19:10] **Aurooba Ahmed:** guess I haven't yet tried to have it right, CSS for. or something that outputs front end code. It would be interesting to see how it handles.

[00:19:19] **Brian Coords:** Mm-hmm. ,

[00:19:19] **Aurooba Ahmed:** because that's when the accessibility stuff really kind of visibly comes into play. So it'd be pretty interesting to try that for sure. Hmm, good point.

[00:19:33] **Brian Coords:** Do, do we even want to touch on ethics? I feel like once everybody uses GitHub co-pilot, they're like, uh, you know, I actually changed my mind about the ethics of AI uh, . I, I'm just saying I, and I'm probably one of those people. But you're like, uh, well, now that I've used it, I look at it a little differently. Do you have an opinion on the, the,

[00:19:54] **Aurooba Ahmed:** I don't think I went into it bad thinking badly about it. You know, like I , [00:20:00] when I first heard about it, what I understood it to be is that it's train. It's being trained on open source code code that is publicly available, and I don't think that, I mean, I think that's legitimately fine.

[00:20:12] **Aurooba Ahmed:** I mean, if it's using what I'm doing in my private repos as a way to train its train and become better for other people or replicate code for them, then maybe that's a problem. But if it's using it to just help me, and the code that's suggesting for me, that's okay. Which I think is probably what it's doing to some extent because it personalizes how it's suggestions to you and I want it to do that.

[00:20:38] **Aurooba Ahmed:** But if it's using what it's learning about me in my non-public repos for other people, then I would be like, okay, maybe this is not okay.

[00:20:49] **Aurooba Ahmed:** You know?

[00:20:50] **Brian Coords:** I think I understand. So I mean, on the one hand it's like I'm using a Microsoft tool where I store all my Microsoft code in my Microsoft VS code [00:21:00] editor, and I'm going to deploy it to, well, I, I'm not gonna lie, I don't think we host anything on Microsoft servers, but you could, depending on the type of work you work on, you know, I mean, good for them, I think.

[00:21:11] **Brian Coords:** I think I more came at it from like starting with the , the art side of it, like art image generators and stuff where real artists are saying like, They're showing like, look, this, this is the training set for open AI it has my art in it. There's no, my art is not public. It's not, you know, open source. It's

[00:21:30] **Aurooba Ahmed:** yeah,

[00:21:30] **Brian Coords:** my art. Um, and like clearly they were not supposed to be taking it, but they were, um, I think Adobe just, there was like a thing today of like, people are saying that Adobe is now scanning anything you put in their cloud storage, even if it's private.

[00:21:44] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Mm-hmm.

[00:21:45] **Brian Coords:** and using that as training data. I think those ones are a little. Code. I'm a little less like precious about open source code being used for training data. I think like that's kind of the point of it. That's kind of like a good thing and it's just code, you know? It's not, [00:22:00] it's not art. It's code. It's not poetry, it's just code.

[00:22:04] **Aurooba Ahmed:** I think that maybe later it might not feel that way when it starts, like creating code that is high level strategic, like high level strategy, you know?

[00:22:14] **Brian Coords:** Mm-hmm.

[00:22:15] **Aurooba Ahmed:** eventually it's gonna get there. Where it's gonna be able to like, not think, but maybe think, but you know, like the way machine learning is where it's able to think about a better approach to doing something. Now that that is like art, that is creativity at play within code. So how would you feel if you tried to do something and it says, no, this is, here's a better way. And it's able to come up with the entire like setup for how you should approach something. And it's learning that from like other repos.

[00:22:49] **Brian Coords:** I mean, at some point you're going to be able to say, this is my business. Here's some products I sell. Make an entire website and chat [00:23:00] GPT will write the copy and you know, co-pilot will write the theme and what you know and so on.

[00:23:07] **Aurooba Ahmed:** And Mid Journey will make the design,

[00:23:08] **Brian Coords:** make the, exactly, and it'll all come together. And it'll just be another website that looks just like the websites many of us build on a day-to-day basis, which you.know, the point of the website is to just say like, look, I'm a real company with a real website. That's kind of the the goal it serves, you know?

[00:23:25] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah.

[00:23:25] **Brian Coords:** I mean, at that point, when the machine starts saying, well, you know, only 1% of your customers are. , you know, color impaired or visually impaired. So we're actually recommending not to have accessibility features because, you know, mathematically

[00:23:40] **Aurooba Ahmed:** mm-hmm.

[00:23:41] **Brian Coords:** it's actually a waste of computing power. And like, it's like that paperclip optimizer thing where it's like,

[00:23:46] **Aurooba Ahmed:** right,

[00:23:46] **Brian Coords:** it's so optimized that suddenly it's like, you know, we, we don't think we can do that because we think it's smarter to be you know, not accessible or so, you know, so I, I could see us getting to a place where the ethical concerns [00:24:00] start feeling a little more clear.

[00:24:02] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah.

[00:24:03] **Brian Coords:** I don't know. But we're not there yet, so I'm just gonna keep using it.

[00:24:07] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah, definitely. And maybe we can try to make it so those ethical concerns are, not as bad if we discuss it and as a community and try to be more conscious of the kind of code we're writing.

[00:24:19] **Aurooba Ahmed:** But you're right. You know, um, at some point the human, like, if we train it to think certain things are just not valuable, then it's not gonna tell us that. And if it doesn't tell us that, then people will, it's like a, it's like an echo chamber, right? Like the same thing keeps happening again and again, and it's really hard to break that cycle. Yeah, I'm, I'm gonna keep using it. I mean, I, I really like it.

[00:24:43] **Brian Coords:** Can I ask one question about it?

[00:24:45] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah. Do you think since it's increasing your productivity

[00:24:50] **Aurooba Ahmed:** mm-hmm.

[00:24:50] **Brian Coords:** do you worry about it? in the long run, decreasing your compensation. Like, you know, like I'm now creating more work for the [00:25:00] same price. Or, you know, that's, that's always the developer's kind of conundrum. It's like the better you get at developing, the faster you do things.

[00:25:07] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Right.

[00:25:07] **Brian Coords:** You know that that's always kind of a problem. But this definitely seems to amp it up a little bit. It

[00:25:13] **Aurooba Ahmed:** also the whole hourly versus value driven pricing thing. Very similar.

[00:25:18] **Brian Coords:** Yeah. Yeah.

[00:25:19] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Because now because of this, in less time you can create, which changes a lot of expectations. Mm-hmm. I think that if this allows us to save time, doing the mundane and makes us, forces us to think more about writing better code in the long run, it's a good thing, but it's probably going to be painful in practice for a lot of people. At first.

[00:25:53] **Brian Coords:** Yeah.

[00:25:54] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah. I think that would be my answer.

[00:25:56] **Brian Coords:** I agree. I think the expectations of what you [00:26:00] can do to be a programmer are only gonna get, like, it sounds like it's making your job easier, but it's definitely requiring, I think, a higher level of engagement or experience

[00:26:12] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yes.

[00:26:12] **Brian Coords:** Or something. And that's, that's definitely gonna affect things

[00:26:17] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah. Like in a way it's making the end barrier to entry lower, but that also means you have to be better if you wanna grow and stand out more. Right? Because anyone can use chat GPT or freaking co-pilot to write some, write a tiny little plugin. I did it the other day just as, just for fun with chat GPT actually, and. If you want to be more intentional or want to stand out, you're gonna have to be more strategic about your code. Something that they can, like the AI can't do, but only you can do.

[00:26:55] **Aurooba Ahmed:** So I think in, in some ways, it's gonna force us to be better the way like [00:27:00] Squarespace and Wix forced bespoke developers to be better in some ways. Maybe

[00:27:07] **Brian Coords:** I, we didn't even get into the idea of the fact that WordPress. in many ways is eliminating the need for coding at all. Like you can get a lot further without writing code in a workplace site than you could. That's a whole nother topic, but

[00:27:24] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Oh, yes.

[00:27:25] **Brian Coords:** It definitely depends if you are a developer or somebody who builds websites who

[00:27:31] **Aurooba Ahmed:** mm-hmm.

[00:27:31] **Brian Coords:** maybe did not jump on like the Elementor train, but like, probably would consider jumping on the Gutenberg train, you know?

[00:27:38] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Mm-hmm.

[00:27:39] **Brian Coords:** as it's gonna be an Elementor that's actually like open source and, and, and free maybe.

[00:27:45] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Yeah, that's definitely gonna be an episode we do ,

[00:27:49] **Brian Coords:** so stay tuned. That's a great teaser. It's a great teaser to end on.

[00:27:54] **Aurooba Ahmed:** That is, well, um, I think that's a pretty intense [00:28:00] topic, which we only kind of dug into today

[00:28:03] **Brian Coords:** That could have been, that could have been a few separate episodes. definitely one of which just me misgendering robots. is the, uh, is the a 20 minute episode.

[00:28:13] **Aurooba Ahmed:** Oh. Oh my goodness. Yes. I would listen to that episode for sure. .

[00:28:18] **Brian Coords:** Yeah. I feel confident that won't come back to haunt me.

[00:28:25] **Aurooba Ahmed:** So should we end this here? Yeah. All right. Well see you in the next episode everyone.

[00:28:32] **Brian Coords:** Bye.

[00:28:33] **Brian Coords:** Visit View Source on FM for the latest updates and links to the show notes. Review and subscribe to View Source in iTunes, YouTube, or wherever you get your podcasts.

Creators and Guests

Aurooba Ahmed
Aurooba Ahmed
(she/her) Developer building bespoke #WordPress solutions, tools, and blocks. My name is pronounced "oo-ROO-ba" — Default to kindness, folks.
Brian Coords
Brian Coords
WordPress developer and writer blah blah
GitHub Copilot
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