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StackOverflow: ChatGPT is Bann...er, Screw the Community, We're Integrating It!

Cyborg at ComputerFour months ago, StackOverflow banned ChatGPT-powered answers from its platform.

Its reasoning was simple: generative AI excels at making things that look like they were made by humans.  But it has no “reasoning” to know if human-like is genuinely accurate or just looks human-like.  SO explains further:

The primary problem is that while the answers which ChatGPT produces have a high rate of being incorrect, they typically look like they might be good and the answers are very easy to produce. There are also many people trying out ChatGPT to create answers, without the expertise or willingness to verify that the answer is correct prior to posting. Because such answers are so easy to produce, a large number of people are posting a lot of answers. The volume of these answers (thousands) and the fact that the answers often require a detailed read by someone with at least some subject matter expertise in order to determine that the answer is actually bad has effectively swamped our volunteer-based quality curation infrastructure.

This got over 3,000 upvotes on SO.

SO readers are looking for quick, accurate answers.  Your typical SO reader has a specific technical issue – “why am I getting this error from this Python module?”.  Getting an answer that looks right but is actually wrong would totally defeat the purpose of the site.

However, SO has now done a U-turn.  In a very long, rambling blog post, SO’s CEO says that they will open the gates to ChatGPT.

The original post saying no to ChatGPT was 2 paragraphs.  The post explaining why ChatGPT is the going to be wonderful for SO took 15 paragraphs.  I tried to find part of it to quote but it’s such a mushy, meandering post.

As of this morning, it was at 124 downvotes.



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