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July 12 2013

Writing Computer Programs Using Ordinary Language: Systems Convert Ordinary Language to Code


In a pair of recent papers, researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have demonstrated that, for a few specific tasks, it's possible to write computer programs using ordinary language rather than special-purpose programming languages.

The work may be of some help to programmers, and it could let nonprogrammers manipulate common types of files -- like word-processing documents and spreadsheets -- in ways that previously required familiarity with programming languages. But the researchers' methods could also prove applicable to other programming tasks, expanding the range of contexts in which programmers can specify functions using ordinary language.

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