Brian Austin

August 20, 2023

The Fall of Stack Overflow

Gerggely Orosz of Pragmatic Engineer dove into Ayhan Fuat Çelik's analysis of and speculated that coding assistants like Copilot, Cody, ChatGPT are partly to blame. He speculates that engineers are reaching for AI chatbots for code questions, and it's hurting Stack Overflow's traffic.

I would add to that by saying that while searching for answers via chat bots is bad for Stack Overflow, the more concerning trend is that fewer people are posting questions, which thereby soliciting answers. These are the answers that Copilot and other models train on.

fall-of-stackoverflow.png


So question is long term what happens? Do the chatbot answer slowly degrade or become outdated? Or does the model collapse entirely and start spitting out vague subroutines that never compile?

One thing about AI, it is only as good as the training set. Once you start feeding garbage data or cut off data entirely the value of the model starts to decline rapidly.

About Brian Austin

A software engineer building products and services for smaller companies. This newsletter syndicates all of my LinkedIn content.

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