back to article Intel, boffins invent an AI Clippy for code: Hi, I see you're writing another lock-free bloom filter. Can I help?

Intel engineers, and academics from MIT and Georgia Tech, have built a neural network that predicts whether two snippets of code intend to achieve the same aim even if they're written differently. Thus, you show it two routines and it should be able to figure out whether or not they were designed to do the same thing …

  1. stiine Silver badge
    Happy

    Nope

    this:

    This could reduce the number of bugs and improve performance as blocks of code are replaced with known-good tested ones.

    Will mean every bit of code will have the same underlying problems and the same bugs. But hey, at least all of the results will be wrong in exactly the same fashion.

    1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

      Re: Nope

      Well, provided the 'hmm, that code looks like this code' bit works better than the 'that face looks like this face' or 'that's definitely not a lorry' AI code does...

  2. Roland 2

    Not sure it's going to be useful

    My experience with young software engineers is not having them reimplement known algorithm.

    It's failure to recognize they need a known algorithm in the first place!

    Like "do a topological sort" instead of a set of heuristics trying to figure out the right order in something.

    Or "use a regexp" instead of a 20 line nest of ifs with startsWith, charAt and substring.

    good luck detecting that with AI, but worth trying.

  3. You aint sin me, roit Silver badge

    In order for this to work in real life...

    1. It has to work.

    2. Developers need to avoid potential bugs fitting generic algorithms into their code.

    3. The configuration management headache needs to be solved:

    Use one little algorithm and find it pulls in a bucket load of (unmanaged) library code?

    Ensure all products use the same library versions...

    Control updates when bugs are found/resolved...

    Reusing algorithms is a good idea, but it soon grows into using third party libraries, and we are all aware (or should be) of the problems that brings.

  4. Maximum Delfango
    Facepalm

    "Hi, I can see you're writing another lock-free bloom filter..."

    Yes, you (and everyone) can see because your f**king chips are insecure.

  5. codejunky Silver badge

    Interesting idea

    It will be interesting to see how this works out. Especially if the output is changed to an optimized version. Hopefully well commented so the user can understand how to modify it if the algorithm isnt so exact.

  6. Arthur the cat Silver badge
    Boffin

    Alan Turing says

    If I give it one function which is designed to check whether a Turing machine halts and another function which checks whether a Turing machine doesn't halt, what does it do?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Alan Turing says

      Both. It does both,

      Now go and have a bowl of cream and stop bothering us.

  7. Trigonoceps occipitalis

    A Godsend to Patent Trolls!

    Thus, you show it two routines and it should be able to figure out whether or not they were designed to do the same thing regardless of their implementation.

    cf. Look and Feel.

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