09:00 - 10:00 


Talk (60 min)

Malignant Intelligence: Prompt engineering and software archeology

We have reached a tipping point when it comes to generative artificial intelligence, and things are currently changing so rapidly the field is almost unrecognisable from one week to the next.

Machine Learning

While the long term implications of this change isn't yet clear, like the arrival of any other new tooling, machine learning assistive tools will change the level of abstraction for some, perhaps this time most, developers. But whether "prompt engineering” will become a skill we will all have to master is still very much open for debate.

Compared to other professions, software engineering is still in its infancy. But having almost reached a point where the code still running at the bottom of many large systems wasn’t written in living memory, the changes we are seeing now could well be early signs that this phase may finally be passing.

But no matter what the final outcome, generative artificial intelligence brings with it potentially unique ethical dilemmas, new security concerns, and some very open questions about the future of our profession.

Alasdair Allan

Alasdair Allan is in charge of writing things down at Raspberry Pi, where he leads a team that responsible for everything from beginner-friendly tutorials, to register-level documentation of new silicon.

Before joining Raspberry Pi he worked as a consultant and journalist focusing on open hardware, machine learning, and emerging technologies. He is known for benchmarking the new generation of machine learning accelerator hardware, and hacking hotel radios. But, more than ten years on, he is probably still most well known for causing one of the first big mobile privacy scandals.

In the past he has mesh networked the Moscone Center, caused a U.S. Senate hearing, and been mentioned on South Park. Originally an astrophysicist, he built a distributed peer-to-peer network of telescopes that, acting autonomously, reactively scheduled observations of time-critical events. Notable successes included contributing to the detection of what — at the time — was the most distant object yet discovered.