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Nvidia boss Jensen Huang says children shouldn’t learn to code as AI can do all the work

A hot potato: For decades, we’ve heard the same mantra from tech billionaires: if a young person wants to make it within the industry, they must learn to code. Now, Jensen Huang has given the opposite advice. The Nvidia boss believes that AI has made the need to learn programming redundant, and humans should instead focus on more important skills such as biology, education, manufacturing, or farming.

Speaking at the recent World Government Summit in Dubai, Huang admitted that his statement was the opposite of what most tech luminaries have said over the past ten or fifteen years: that everybody, especially children, should learn to program.

“It is our job to create computing technology such that nobody has to program. And that the programming language is human,” said the CEO. “Everybody in the world is now a programmer. This is the miracle of artificial intelligence.”

This isn’t the first time Huang has made such statements. Almost exactly one year ago at Berkeley Haas University’s Dean’s Speaker series, Huang talked about how ChatGPT’s program-writing abilities could change the landscape. “Literally everyone can program a computer,” he said. “We have democratized computing in a very, very large way.”

Generative AI’s relationship with programming is a contentious topic. Stability AI boss Emad Mostaque believes it could replace a large number of human coders, especially in India, where he says outsourced jobs in this field face extinction by next year due to AI advancements.

On the other side of the argument, the quality of the code that AI produces isn’t known for its elegance. This was highlighted by a study from Purdue University from last year, which found that ChatGPT got more than half the programming questions wrong. Moreover, plenty of experts have pointed out that previous technologies have promised to kill a certain field, only for that tech to end up being used alongside traditional methods.

Huang added that it is important for people to learn how to use generative AI. “It is vital that we upskill everyone, and the upskilling process I believe will be delightful, surprising,” he said.

Huang has more reason than others to extol the virtues of AI. With Nvidia controlling around 80% of the high-end AI hardware market, the company’s near $2 trillion market cap has made the leather jacket fan the 21st richest person in the world. Team Green’s total earnings hit $22.1 billion during the last quarter, up 265% compared to the same period a year earlier.

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