Rendering Developers Redundant?

SOUTH AFRICA — A new-fangled system that translates everyday language into machine code promises to lay programming in the hands of laymen and put developers out of work.

Dubbed MI-Tech (Machine Intelligence Technology) the software seemingly translates simple written instructions into code that can be unraveled by the microprocessors inside computers. Its inventor, Bob Brennan, a software engineer at Cambridge-based start-up Synapse Solutions, claims that MI-Tech can resolve the ambiguities inherent in everyday language.

According to Brennan, MIT-Tech can unravel the significance of context in the oft-convoluted English language. A store of logical rules inherent in the system ostensibly enables it to extract instructions from statements in ordinary language and translate them into binary code. With a lexicon consisting of only a few hundred words Brennan claims that his invention can write code in a fraction of the time that it would take a trained programmer. Moreover, Brennan claims that it eliminates the nagging errors that slip out every now and again when a human authors code.

MI-Tech’s small lexicon means there is less room for confusion, states Brennan — if it’s unsure of your meaning it will merely tell you that it doesn’t understand. “The problem before was that computers couldn’t cope with ambiguities, but now they can,” he said.

The inventor hopes to be licensing his program to software companies within 18 months, allowing them to build it into their own packages. When this happens, he hopes, anyone will be able to add programs of the

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