Ambiguity in natural language interfaces for programming

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about whether conversational AI will replace programmers any time soon. One of the arguments against this happening is that natural language is inherently ambiguous; you need to very precisely specify what you want, and that looks like... a programming language, with all of the inherent complexity that programmers are there to manage. I think this rather misses the point: programmers also provide a natural language interface to their users, and somehow usually manage the ambiguity and complexity OK.

(This post is a lightly edited version of a Hacker News discussion).

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