Toward Programming Languages for Reasoning: Humans, Symbolic Systems, and AI Agents

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

Abstract

Integration, composition, mechanization, and AI assisted development are the driving themes in the future of software development. At their core these concepts are rooted in the increasingly important role of computing in our world, the desire to deliver functionality faster, with higher quality, and to empower more people to benefit from programmatic automation. These themes, and how they impact the human developers driving them, are the foundations for the next generation of programming languages. At first glance the needs of mechanization tools, AI agents, and human developers along with the various goals around development velocity, software quality, and software democratization are a broad and seemingly diverse set of needs. However, at their core is a single challenge that, once resolved, enables us to make radical progress in all of these areas. Our hypothesis is that, fundamentally, software development is a problem of reasoning about code and semantics. This is true for human developers implementing a feature, symbolic tools building models of application behaviour, and even for language based AI agents as they perform tasks. While the particular aspects of reasoning that each agent struggles with varies to some degree, they share many common themes and, surprisingly, most mainstream languages extensively employ (anti)features that make this task harder or infeasible! This paper proposes a novel approach to this challenge-instead of new language features or logical constructs, that add more complexity to what is already a problem of complexity, we propose radical simplification in the form of the Bosque platform and language.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOnward! 2023 - Proceedings of the 2023 ACM SIGPLAN International Symposium on New Ideas, New Paradigms, and Reflections on Programming and Software, Co-located with
Subtitle of host publicationSPLASH 2023
EditorsTijs van der Storm, Robert Hirschfeld
Pages136-152
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9798400703881
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 18 2023
Event2023 ACM SIGPLAN International Symposium on New Ideas, New Paradigms, and Reflections on Programming and Software, Onward! 2023, co-located with SPLASH 2023 - Cascais, Portugal
Duration: Oct 25 2023Oct 27 2023

Publication series

NameOnward! 2023 - Proceedings of the 2023 ACM SIGPLAN International Symposium on New Ideas, New Paradigms, and Reflections on Programming and Software, Co-located with: SPLASH 2023

Conference

Conference2023 ACM SIGPLAN International Symposium on New Ideas, New Paradigms, and Reflections on Programming and Software, Onward! 2023, co-located with SPLASH 2023
Country/TerritoryPortugal
CityCascais
Period10/25/2310/27/23

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 ACM.

Keywords

  • Programming Language Design
  • Reasoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Software
  • Computational Theory and Mathematics

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