"Rethink online assesment" -GPT-4

My Prompt [or any other innocent but frustrated developer]

generate a javascript function which takes a string argument and returns true if it is a palindrome


Sure! Here’s an example JavaScript function that takes a string argument and returns true if it is a palindrome:

function isPalindrome(str) {
  str = str.toLowerCase().replace(/[^a-z0-9]/g, "");
  let reversedStr = str.split("").reverse().join("");
  return str === reversedStr;

I personally did this after the project but for a second i thought - There is actually a cheat sheet.
In the wake of AI that actually codes like an experienced developer.

And i know the whole academic integrity story but when we all know how frustrating this can get.

Isn’t it going to get more tempting to just paste?

Am I the first one to actually connect the dots or is it a cancer eating out creativity from many other new devs?
(okay maybe i overstated that)

Doesn’t exist yet.

I’ve been paid exactly $0 to solve small coding puzzles.

AI might kill competitive programming, but professional programming for complex real world systems is a task that escapes AI right now.


Are we even aware how far that time is? Probably not far

Theres no telling. New technology is coming out all the time, and old technology is being updated. But theres no point in worrying about something that doesnt exist yet. If you think in that way you are just holding yourself back waiting for the end. When that time can be used to learn new skills, and gain knowledge making yourself more valuable to employers.


The reason ChatGPT gave you that answer is because it has been all over the internet, for free, for about 20 years.

ChatGPT literally just scraped these results (as well as every single time it was discussed on this forum).

No it doesn’t. The valuable skills of an experienced developer are solving complex logistical problems under arbitrary restrictions, and making judgements about the most appropriate solution, and creating plans that balance immediate needs against long-term supportability.

For you (a student), that doesn’t gain you anything. The exercise of working through the problem is where you will gain skills. For me (an experience professional), why wouldn’t I copy-paste a code snippet that helps me? I do it all the time. Do you think I manually re-invented the regular expression for ipv4 and ipv6 addresses? Hell to the no.

No. Every developer has been answering this question at least once a week since the first ChatGPT previews.

Also no. Just don’t copy from it, just like previous students chose not to copy from StackOverflow when they were learning and us Very Olds chose not to copy out of the back of the textbook.


Thanks for the answers. Appreciate your time

So, two issues here:

Firstly, it’s a completely self-contained common beginner challenge. You should expect an LLM trained on a huge internet dataset to be able to put together the words that make up a correct answer. That’s what that genre of tool are designed to be able to do, that’s why GPT-4 can do things like do well in exams. It’s impressive but it’s not surprising. What it can’t do well is make up answers for the million and one small, niche, context-dependent, focussed tasks required when building and maintaining normal systems, ie what makes up most of day-to-day work. Which is also unsurprising. May well help, particularly with tasks that are fundamentally similar to this - good examples are shell scripts for isolated tasks or one-off SQL queries, but in general it has limited uses. I would say it (as in ChatGPT) is somewhat useful as a beginner in a popular language because there are huge datasets to pull from, so it + it’s dialogue layer provides something that can explain concepts in various different ways. Benefits tail off quite quickly after that though

Secondly, in this case you aren’t doing an exam (where cheating may have a payoff, maybe a literal payoff). The point is to try to get you to understand how to program things, cheating provides you no benefit


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