Deepmind’s AI Is Learning About the Art of Coding

In the field of computer science, there is perhaps no more fundamental task than to sort. Bubble, heap, merge—take your pick. The methods for reordering data inside a computer have been theorized to death, served as practice exercises for millions of novices, and been optimized for decades by expert developers. Type a sort() function in any programming language, and it’s code you can rely on. Don’t touch it. It already works great.

But last year, an AI system developed by engineers at Google’s Deepmind improved on great by just enough to matter. The system, which Deepmind calls AlphaDev, was tasked with coming up with a new way to sort short

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