LLM or person assisting code

What would be more helpful for coding assistance : the forum or an LLM? I’m a CS Student who generally uses Bard and ChatGPT for python help…

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Humans on this forum generally know if what they are saying is actually true. GPT and similar has no clue


An LLM backed interface can be helpful when learning. However, it’s probably less helpful than it seems. There are basically three problems:

  1. It [confidently] gives you the answer straightaway.

This doesn’t matter so much for Python-specific help. You’re not doing a programming course. However, if you’re asking it for CS-specific help, be careful. It can be deeply unhelpful for your learning.

  1. It doesn’t necessarily produce the “correct” answer, as @JeremyLT says.

The point of a chat interface is to produce realistic text. This issue is compounded by:

  1. You may not have the knowledge to determine whether an answer is correct or not.

This is insidious. The answer may work, but that doesn’t mean it’s good or useful.

An LLM-based knowledge application is most useful when you already know the answer. It is much less useful when you don’t, and can actively work against the learning process. In that case, talking to people is normally far more helpful.

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