Latest in Science

Image credit:

DARPA funds $11 million tool that will make coding a lot easier

352 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Sponsored Links

DARPA is funding a new project by Rice University called PLINY, and it's neither a killer robot nor a high-tech weapon. PLINY, named after Pliny the Elder who wrote one of the earliest encyclopedias ever, will actually be a tool that can automatically complete a programmer's draft -- and yes, it will work somewhat like the autocomplete on your smartphones. Its developers describe it as a repository of terabytes upon terabytes of all the open-source code they'll find, which people will be able to query in order to easily create complex software or quickly finish a simple one. Rice University assistant professor Swarat Chaudhuri says he and his co-developers "envision a system where the programmer writes a few of lines of code, hits a button and the rest of the code appears." Also, the parts PLINY conjures up "should work seamlessly with the code that's already been written."

In the video below, Chaudhuri used a sheet of paper with a hole in the middle to represent a programmer's incomplete work. If he uses PLINY to fill that hole, the tool will look through the billions of lines of code in its collection to find possible solutions (represented by different shapes in the video). Once it finds the nearest fit, the tool will clip any unnecessary parts, polish the code further to come up with the best solution it can, and make sure the final product has no security flaws. More than a dozen Rice University researchers will be working on PLINY for the next four years, fueled by the $11 million funding from the Pentagon's mad science division.

[Image credit: Shutterstock / Yellowj]

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
352 Shares
Share
Tweet
Share
Save

Popular on Engadget

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

Engadget's Guide to Privacy

View
‘Terminator: Resistance’ will pit you against Skynet this December

‘Terminator: Resistance’ will pit you against Skynet this December

View
‘Apex Legends’ Season 3 launches with a new hero on October 1st

‘Apex Legends’ Season 3 launches with a new hero on October 1st

View
Inside Apple's redesigned 'cube' store in New York City

Inside Apple's redesigned 'cube' store in New York City

View
Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro has a 'quad-camera' and a vegan leather option

Huawei’s Mate 30 Pro has a 'quad-camera' and a vegan leather option

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr