ChatGPT as a pull up band
My friend Uri wrote a blog post about different types of supports:
I’m going to call any supportive device that degrades your ability to perform the activity un-aided an enfeebling support.
Of course, this also implies a definition for a better kind of support: a strengthening support not only helps you do something while supported, but also makes you better at doing the thing “by yourself” once the support is taken away.
Before I get into what I disagree with, first I want to say I wholeheartedly endorse the distinction he draws between types of supports. It's really helpful to ask "is this a tool that's helping me build capability or is this a crutch that I'm becoming reliant upon?"
However, one of his examples of enfeebling supports caught my eye:
Tech legend and friend of the blog T.D. worries that chatGPT is degrading people’s coding skills, making them slightly better at coding right now but worse (and more dependent on prosthetics) in the long run.
For me at least, ChatGPT is absolutely a strengthening support. I went years doing only minimal coding because I couldn't build anything I was excited about, sort of the equivalent of being able to do zero pull ups. With ChatGPT, I'm now able to finish things I care about, which is infectious, and I'm learning a bunch as I go. So I humbly disagree with tech legend TD!