Creating Mobile App With ChatGPT | Netguru

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Nazar Sydiaha

Mar 7, 2023 • 8 min read
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A couple of weeks ago, while surfing my routine social media, I found something wrong.

On YouTube, every IT channel was streaming panic attacks and by posting intriguing videos with clickbait titles like “AI is rising up to grab your job” and “Tomorrow, my dear IT worker, you will move into a carton box, because your employer doesn’t need you anymore.”

After my subconscious ignored a couple of them, I continued scrolling since I just wanted to watch some funny cat videos. Eventually, I didn’t watch any funny cats that evening. I didn’t even watch funny dogs or elephants either, because my YouTube feed was full of a new, ultrasmart, revolutionary, take-your-job version of the OpenAI called ChatGPT, and now it is supposed to change the world. But is it actually going to?

Revolution 3.5

As it turns out, OpenAI made a lot of noise just after releasing their newest 3.5 version of ChatGPT on the last day of November 2022. People wondered how wise and literate ChatGPT was getting. They figured out that day that AI can write articles, make up stories and song lyrics, simplify the hardest science theories to make school kids understand them, and, eventually, write code using the most popular programming languages. After it launched, ChatGPT passed the mark of 1 million users within five days, and as of 21 December, the service still goes down from time to time because of the large influx of users. I think ChatGPT will make even more noise in the near future as it teaches itself more and more.

What can AI do better than humans?

So much positive publicity echoed with a wave of panic, especially for IT workers who understand that the day when AI will be able to replace them is coming closer. Over the last few years, I have heard from different people that the coding profession will be one of the first that AI will replace.

The arguments are different. Some say that computers will handle the code AI generates much better than human code. Others say IT companies will stop hiring coders because AI code will be so simple and flexible that composing parts into one application will become a task that everyone can do.

Actually, today I can see a bit of a different trend. Surprisingly or not, the first job ChatGPT is taking is copywriting. Yes, it can write everything about anything. We can provide ChatGPT with entry data, explain to it what needs to be changed or modified, and voilà, a 2-3 paragraph article is ready.

An average copywriter will spend 15-20 minutes to do it, and ChatGPT will do it in a couple of seconds. Together with editing and modifications, I’m sure it won’t take it more than 3-4 minutes. Another fact is that ChatGPT won’t flood your inbox to increase its hourly rate, and won’t wait for you next to your car to persistently suggest you move to another type of hiring contract.

To prove my thoughts, I asked ChatGPT to write an article about how healthy milk is:

In my opinion, there is no way to distinguish who wrote this article, AI or human.

To-do list app experiment

So, now we know that AI is serious-minded to replace some people's jobs. Maybe a lot of copywriters after reading this article will decide: “Oh no! AI is going to take my job. Probably, I should change my profession and start coding. Maybe OpenAI could teach ChatGPT to write like humans, but they could not teach it to code like a human.” Let’s check if it’s true.

What I am going to do is to check if ChatGPT is able to create a ready-to-use mobile app using React Native. Why React Native? So, there are a few reasons:

  1. I’m a React Native developer. That means I can give an assessment of this code and pay attention to the most popular mistakes.
  2. Creating an empty React Native project and replacing the default code in App.js with ChatGPT code will make it possible to use the app on Android and iOS.
  3. Working with JavaScript code only will help to avoid obscure native errors, which simplifies the job for ChatGPT.

First, I asked ChatGPT to create a to-do list app using React Native and return the code:

I copy-pasted the code ChatGPT wrote to the App.js file. You can see the result below. I can’t tell if I am rather afraid or impressed about the result

I copy-pasted the code ChatGPT wrote to the App.js file, and on the right side, you can see the result. I can’t tell if I am rather afraid or impressed about the result. Just look how perfectly ChatGPT copes with the task (except for one missed TextInput import). Then I decided to complicate the job to check how ChatGPT deals with more entry requirements:

All my requirements were satisfied. ChatGPT returned more complicated code than the first round and covered all the requirements starting from styling and ending with adding a safe area. The to-do list is working and has the required logic. Eventually, I asked ChatGPT to make a couple of modifications to make the application even better:

Success again. I admit it – ChatGPT is impressive.

Summary

I am convinced that ChatGPT is able to create a ready-to-use mobile app or event to create a product in a couple of minutes. The only things you need to have are an internet connection and a little patience. Yes, patience, because it’s not perfect.

I won’t count the small mistakes like missed imports, but it’s going to have service limitations. I can say ChatGPT looks really promising, and I suspect it is even able to create ready-to-use products if you find the right approach to it. At least, in the process of creation, when you deal with the absolute randomness of its answers, you can point ChatGPT at the mistakes and tell it to figure out proper ways to solve the issues.

Actually, the biggest problem, for now, is code size limitations. For now, ChatGPT is able to provide you with only a small amount of code. According to my experience, it’s not more than 90-100 lines of code. If you provide it with some complex requirements or ask for a more complicated application than a to-do list, then ChatGPT just hangs. Also, some difficulties can arise if you use ChatGPT at the same time as millions of other users.

Anyway, ChatGPT is developing very quickly. I think that fixing existing issues won’t take much more improving on such a smart AI bot. Will it replace IT specialists? Time will show. But for now, we should give ourselves full use of the power of ChatGPT and let it make our job easier. If you want to see how, read my next article – How you can use ChatGPT.

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