Letter to Editor, Communications of the ACM., 2023, 66(7) page 9. DOI

The End Is Not Clear

In his Viewpoint CACM article "The End of Programming" (Jan 2023) Matt Welsh wrote "nobody actually understands how large AI models work". However already no one person understands existing large computer systems. Indeed no team of people understands them. Staff turn over and other practicalities of real life mean not even the team that wrote them originally (should it still exist) nor the team currently responsible for maintaining them, fully understands large software systems, which can now exceed a billion lines of code. And yet such systems are in worldwide daily use and deliver economic benefits.

W.B. Langdon, London, U.K.

See also response from Matt Welsh