"I took their goading advice."

Code Switching

Remember when extremist chuds were trolling journalists by telling them to "learn to code"? So do we.

Writing for The Guardian, journalist-turned-coder Tristan Cross pretty aptly described the horrible conditions that led him to learn to code in the first place.

"I spent the best part of the 2010s working in new media," he wrote, "which — if you enjoyed being repeatedly laid off and then being inundated with jeering messages inveigling you to 'learn to code' because your industry was doomed — was a great big laugh."

Recently, after "the fun began to wear off," Cross, whose writing has previously appeared in outlets ranging from Vice to Comedy Central, decided to actually learn to code as "an act of subversive defiance (or cowardly resignation)."

"I took their goading advice, learned to code and pivoted to what I’d hoped would be a far more secure career in 'web development,'" he wrote, "only for recent advances in AI to supposedly render coding jobs a waste of time, too."


In reality, the tech's shortcomings are well documented, from bungling attempts at journalism to even legal counsel. But the tech's limitations haven't stopped business owners from salivating over the prospect of getting to reduce their overheads by replacing human workers with much-cheaper algorithms.

And the same goes for coding.

Cross notes that while "playing around with various chatbots, you’ll still experience the AI making a fair amount of mistakes," but that it's "not difficult to envisage a not too distant future where they can discern users' needs and walk them through solutions," ultimately undermining the role of the human coder.

The ex-writer, who now is a self-employed web designer and developer, clearly has mixed feelings about the topic. While he said that he's lucky to have a good roster of clients who value him for his skill as well as his creativity, he's nevertheless concerned about Silicon Valley types jumping the gun and overselling the tech as a way to replace human workers.

"The heaviest salivating around the potential of AI is coming from those who see it as an exciting costcutting measure that might allow capital to finally become unshackled from its old adversary, labor," he wrote.

And that, Cross contends, is "absurd nonsense."

More on chatbots: OpenAI CEO Says He Loses Sleep Over Decision to Release ChatGPT

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