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Coding as Magic? – Salon with Sam Arbesman
September 30, 2022 at 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm CDT
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In this salon, writer and scientist Samuel Arbesman leads a discussion around the nature of computer code and its relationship to magic and sorcery.
Computer code has been described to many different things, but one analogy that crops up over and over is that of code as a type of magic: words that affect our world, as described in fantasy and ancient tales. And this analogy has become even more prominent in recent months with the advent of Large Language Models and “prompt engineering.”
This salon will explore this analogy of coding as magic: both where it works and where it breaks down (and if there are better analogies we might consider).
- What Kind of Sorcery Is This? Why code is so often compared to magic.
- Coding as Magic
- Magic that works
- The Sorcerer’s Apprentice
Image credit: Wikimedia/Ferdinand Barth