Google’s brainbox tested its system against coding challenges used in human competitions and found that its program achieved an "estimated rank" placing it within the top 54 per cent of human coders.
The move is a significant step forward for autonomous coding even if AlphaCode's skills are not necessarily representative of the sort of programming tasks faced by the average coder. It is clearly not the time to think about a career change.
DeepMind Oriol Vinyals, principal research scientist told the Verge the research was still in the early stages but that the results brought the company closer to creating a flexible problem-solving AI -- a program that can autonomously tackle coding challenges that are currently the domain of humans only.
"In the longer-term, we're excited by AlphaCode's potential for helping programmers and non-programmers write code, improving productivity or creating new ways of making software," said Vinyals.