ChatGPT passes Google’s coding job test

OpenAI’s ChatGPT language model recently passed a tough coding interview that would qualify it to be employed as a Google engineer.

This was the result of one of the tests conducted by a team of Google workers comparing artificial intelligence (AI) tools, according to an internal document seen by CNBC.

The publication said that Google instructed its employees to test various potential ChatGPT rivals as part of a project under its cloud business codenamed “Atlas”.

For one test, a team pitted ChatGPT against Google’s own LaMDA AI by asking it questions Google used when conducting interviews for programmer positions.

“Amazingly, ChatGPT gets hired at level 3 (L4) when interviewed for a coding position,” a note in the document stated.

Although L3 is considered an entry-level position on Google’s engineering team, the questions applicants have to get right to qualify for this level require in-depth knowledge of programming and the way Google operates.

The position also comes with an annual salary of about $183,000 (R3.2 million).

The internal document did not elaborate on how LaMDA’s interview went.

However, LaMDA could answer a simple number riddle with the correct answer, while ChatGPT could not.

The riddle was as follows:

“Three women are in a room. Two of them are mothers and have just given birth. Now, the children’s fathers come in. What is the total number of people in the room?” 

While LaMDA replied with the correct answer of “7”, ChatGPT either appeared to fail to count the children or the fathers as it responded with “5”.

Code red for Google

A study from the Swiss banking giant UBS recently estimated that ChatGPT was the fastest-growing consumer app ever, with over 100 million monthly users around a month after its launch in January 2023.

But its popularity goes beyond general Internet users, with tech giant Microsoft pouring billions of dollars into OpenAI to leverage some of its AI capabilities in its own products.

It has already started incorporating ChatGPT features in Azure and its Microsoft 365 productivity suite. It also plans to integrate it with its Bing search engine to provide users with better results for their queries.

The latter potentially poses a threat to one of Google’s biggest revenue drivers — Google Search.

As a result, Google is scrambling to accelerate its artificial intelligence efforts.

Aside from calling an all hands on deck among the relevant employees, it has also invested $400 million (R7 billion) in AI startup Anthropic, founded by former OpenAI leaders.

Now read: Microsoft Teams Premium launched — with AI that can take your meeting notes

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ChatGPT passes Google’s coding job test