Evoking the theme of this issue, I started this editorial using ChatGPT. The prompt I fed it was: "Write an editorial in the style of Rod Paddock editor-in-chief of CODE Magazine. Discuss how containerized apps and microservices are not for every developer." The prompt I sent into ChatGPT generated a full editorial with an introduction that starts like this:

Containerized Apps and Microservices: Not a One-Size-Fits-All Solution

In the ever-evolving world of software development, containerized apps and microservices have garnered significant attention as modern solutions to streamline application deployment and scalability. The allure of these technologies is undeniable, but it is crucial to recognize that they are not the panacea for every development project. As Editor-in-Chief of CODE Magazine, I feel compelled to shed light on the potential pitfalls of blindly adopting containerization and microservices, urging developers to exercise caution and consider the specific needs of their projects before diving in."

To be honest, the remainder of the editorial wasn't too bad. ChatGPT provided several good observations and created points of discussion written as though I'd written them myself. The only thing that was missing were references to Iron Maiden or Dungeons and Dragons. See what I did there?

The power of this tool is cool and scary at the same time. The world is changing and this new breakthrough in technology is a huge inflection point. The unbelievable thing about this is how rapidly it happened. The announcement of ChatGPT was November 30, 2022. In just over six months, the power of this technology has taken the world by storm.

I've been “noodling” on this editorial for a month. Numerous ideas came, only to be discarded for others as news and knowledge surrounding AI tech has evolved. It was just this last Saturday (June 10, 2023) that I came to realize how I wanted to talk about this new behemoth. All it took was a hangout day with my son Isaiah to make me realize how AI would change our lives in radical and unforeseen ways.

We started our trek at our awesome local bookstore. We gathered up various tomes on cooking, a book on the history of pop art stickers and a self-help book. What can I say, we have eclectic tastes. LOL. After raiding the bookstore, we headed across the street to our awesome local record store. Yes, Austin is just chock full of awesome.

As we proceeded to peruse the racks of CDs and albums, discussing the finer points of Drake's artistry, and commenting on various album covers, the discussion came around to purchasing some CDs for his collection. Wait! What collection? In the year 2023, I'd have bet you that it's a rare thing for young people (I'll leave that definition up to you) to have CD collections. In the case of my children, that percentage would be 100%. Many people do have collections of music but they live in the cloud. This observation was a real eye opener. Things I take for granted are very different to today's generations.

As Isaiah and I continued our visit, I pondered just how different the world is for Isaiah and his sister. We then returned to the extensive racks of vinyl to see if we missed any interesting finds. This is when another observation hit me, the aisles of vinyl were...PACKED with fellow music aficionados. The vinyl section was mobbed with people searching for their own multicolored plaques of sonic joy. Keep in mind that vinyl records were all but dead just a generation ago. Now they are the rage. In a world full of digital annoyances, people have returned to the analog world of vinyl. What was old is new again. Things change. And sometimes they change by going backward.

A simple observation about young folk's lack of record collections leads to many other thoughts. What would be different with this tech? How will the semantic world of GPT merge with the syntactic worlds of software development? Who will this technology disrupt? What jobs will be created? The world of AI has a lot of potential for good and bad outcomes. This time, I believe we are more aware of the potential for negative outcomes and the discissions around them are happening daily.

As a developer, I think our world is going to be interesting. It's much easier to create software in 2023 than it has ever been. What this results in is the ability to create more interesting solutions to harder problems in less time. The perfect trifecta. Where AI will come in is the ability to build these even faster. Rather than searching for a code fragment or two on www.stackoverflow.com, you'll consult an AI bot that helps you gather potential solutions to your problems. The keyword in that sentence is potential. It will take a developer's reasoning and design skills to determine the applicability of the delivered code and whether or not to implement it in their code. AI has no judgement or reasoning - it's really a very effective mockingbird. It's up to you to make sure that what it's saying makes sense.

So, what does this all mean? In this author's humble opinion, AI is coming and soon it will be everywhere. AI in the future weeks, months, years, decades will be as big as the internet has been to us over the last three decades. Things will be different, and it's our duty to understand and use them carefully and considerately.