Infinite Pong

Wednesday 22nd February, 2023 - Bruce Sterling

*What a remarkable hack.

THERE IS CURRENTLY A lot of interest in AI tools designed to help programmers write software. GitHub’s Copilot and Amazon’s CodeWhisperer apply deep-learning techniques originally developed for generating natural-language text by adapting it to generate source code. The idea is that programmers can use these tools as a kind of auto-complete on steroids, using prompts to produce chunks of code that developers can integrate into their software.

Looking at these tools, I wondered: Could we take the next step and take the human programmer out of the loop? Could a working program be written and deployed on demand with just the touch of a button?

In my day job, I write embedded software for microcontrollers, so I immediately thought of a self-contained handheld device as a demo platform. A screen and a few controls would allow the user to request and interact with simple AI-generated software. And so was born the idea of infinite Pong…