On Machine Learning and Programming Languages

julialang.org

I just came across this post from a couple of months ago, and wow. It's from the folks who make Julia, and they've spent plenty of time thinking about the intersection of ML and programming languages. The authors believe that:

  1. ML "libraries" like TensorFlow are better thought of as actual programming languages,
  2. current ML languages constrain the types of workloads that can actually be expressed, and
  3. language design will need to make significant steps forwards for the field to accomplish its aspirations.

Here's the final paragraph:

Can we build systems that treat numerics, derivatives and parallelism as first-class features, without sacrificing traditional programming ideas and wisdom? This is the foundational question which languages over the coming decade will have to answer.

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