Debunking Devin: "First AI Software Engineer" Upwork lie exposed!

Internet of Bugs
9 Apr 202425:16

TLDRCarl, a software professional for 35 years, debunks the claim that Devin, touted as the world's 'first AI software engineer,' can take on Upwork tasks. He critiques the hype around AI capabilities, stressing the importance of truthful representation. Carl demonstrates that while Devin made some progress, it did not fulfill the Upwork task as described, instead generating and fixing its own code. He emphasizes the need for skepticism and verification of AI claims made online.


  • ๐Ÿšซ The claim that Devin is the 'first AI software engineer' is disputed and considered hype.
  • ๐Ÿ› ๏ธ Devin was presented as completing an Upwork task, but the video does not actually show this happening.
  • ๐Ÿค– The hype around AI capabilities is causing confusion and unrealistic expectations among non-technical people.
  • ๐Ÿง The video script critiques the exaggeration of AI's ability to perform tasks without showing the full context or limitations.
  • ๐Ÿ” The actual task Devin was supposed to do involved running inferences on a model from a repository, which was not accurately represented in the video.
  • ๐Ÿ’ป Devin's output did not meet the customer's requirements, as it did not provide detailed instructions for using the model on AWS EC2.
  • ๐Ÿ”— The video script emphasizes the importance of communication and understanding customer needs, which AI currently lacks.
  • ๐Ÿ›‘ Devin's video gave the false impression of fixing real errors in the repository, when it was actually fixing its own generated code.
  • ๐Ÿ•’ The process of replicating Devin's results was much quicker and simpler than what was portrayed in the video.
  • ๐Ÿ”„ Devin's video showed a long and inefficient process, which does not reflect the current state of competent AI software engineering.
  • ๐Ÿ“ข The video script calls for transparency, accuracy, and skepticism when evaluating AI capabilities and claims made by companies or influencers.

Q & A

  • What is the main claim that Carl disputes in the video?

    -Carl disputes the claim that Devin, an AI, can take on and complete messy Upwork tasks as advertised, stating that this is a lie and misrepresentation of its capabilities.

  • What is Carl's stance on AI technology?

    -Carl is not anti-AI; he appreciates and uses generative AI tools like GitHub Copilot, ChatGPT, and others. However, he is anti-hype and emphasizes the importance of truthful representation of AI capabilities.

  • How does Carl describe the hype around Devin?

    -Carl describes the hype around Devin as 'crazy' and harmful, as it creates unrealistic expectations and fear, uncertainty, and doubt among people regarding AI's capabilities.

  • What are the potential consequences of exaggerating AI's abilities?

    -Exaggerating AI's abilities can mislead non-technical people to trust AI outputs without skepticism, leading to potential issues such as increased bugs, exploits, and hacks in the software ecosystem.

  • What was the specific task that Devin was presented with in the video?

    -The specific task was to make inferences with a model in a given repository and provide detailed instructions on how to do it in an EC2 instance on AWS.

  • What did Carl identify as the actual error in the repository that Devin failed to fix?

    -The actual error was in the '' file on line 33, where the module 'torch' had no attribute called '_six'. Devin did not identify or fix this error.

  • How long did it take Carl to replicate Devin's work correctly?

    -It took Carl approximately 36 minutes and 55 seconds to replicate Devin's work correctly.

  • What is Carl's critique of the methods Devin used to interact with the code?

    -Carl criticizes Devin for generating its own code with errors and then 'debugging' it, which is misleading and not an efficient or modern approach to coding in Python.

  • What does Carl suggest is the appropriate way to verify claims made about AI capabilities?

    -Carl suggests that companies and individuals should provide raw footage or evidence to verify claims about what AI can do, and that people should be skeptical and do their own research rather than blindly trusting claims.

  • How does Carl conclude the video?

    -Carl concludes by urging AI product creators to be truthful about their products, journalists and influencers to fact-check before amplifying claims, and internet users to be skeptical of everything they encounter, especially regarding AI.



๐Ÿ—ฃ๏ธ Introduction and Critique of AI Hype

The speaker, Carl, introduces the topic by expressing skepticism about the claim that an AI named Devin is the world's first software engineer. Carl, a software professional with 35 years of experience, criticizes the hype around AI and emphasizes the importance of truthful representation of AI capabilities. He takes issue with the claim that Devin can make money by taking on messy Upwork tasks, which he asserts is false and does not occur in the video. Carl argues that such hype can mislead non-technical people and cause problems, and he calls for skepticism and fact-checking in the face of AI-related claims.


๐Ÿ“ Analysis of Devin's Upwork Task

Carl analyzes the specific Upwork task that Devin was said to have completed. He points out that the task was not randomly selected but cherry-picked, suggesting that Devin may not perform as well on other tasks. Carl outlines what the customer actually wanted, which was to make inferences with a given repository and provide detailed instructions on how to do so in an EC2 instance on AWS. He criticizes the way Devin's input was presented, arguing that it did not match the customer's request for detailed instructions and that the actual output from Devin was lacking in relevance to the task.


๐Ÿ› ๏ธ Devin's Actual Performance and Shortcomings

Carl discusses Devin's actual performance on the task, noting that it did not meet the customer's expectations. He explains that Devin's report did not contain the required details and that the AI made several errors in its approach. Carl points out that Devin created and debugged its own code rather than fixing existing code from the repository. He also highlights that Devin did not address a real error in the repository, which Carl himself was able to fix quickly through a Google search. Carl criticizes the impression given by Devin's video, which showed a long and inefficient process, and argues that the AI's approach was not competent and only created more work.


๐Ÿ•’ Timeframe and Efficiency Issues

Carl addresses the timeframe in which Devin supposedly completed the task, expressing confusion over the lengthy period of six hours and 20 minutes. He suspects that there may have been a misunderstanding or an unnecessary delay in the process. Carl also critiques a strange command line instruction that appeared in Devin's video, arguing that it was nonsensical and indicative of the convoluted approach that AI can sometimes take. He emphasizes the need for efficiency and clarity in AI operations.


๐Ÿšซ The Dangers of AI Hype and Misrepresentation

Carl concludes by reiterating the dangers of misrepresenting AI capabilities and the hype surrounding them. He argues that such hype can lead to real-world problems, such as the generation of bad code and a lack of skepticism towards AI outputs. Carl calls on AI developers, journalists, and influencers to be truthful about AI's capabilities and urges the general public to be skeptical of AI-related claims. He stresses the importance of fact-checking and critical thinking, especially in the context of AI and the internet.


๐Ÿ™ Closing Remarks

Carl ends the video with a final reminder to always be skeptical of claims made on the internet, especially those related to AI. He emphasizes that the internet is full of misinformation and that it's important to question what we see and hear. Carl signs off with a reminder that critical thinking is essential in discerning truth from hype.



๐Ÿ’กAI Software Engineer

The term 'AI Software Engineer' refers to an individual or entity that designs, develops, and maintains software programs or applications that incorporate artificial intelligence (AI). In the context of the video, this term is used to describe Devin, which was touted as the world's 'first AI software engineer.' However, the video argues that this claim is misleading and that AI's capabilities are often overstated, leading to hype and misunderstanding about what AI can actually do.


Upwork is a platform that connects freelancers with clients who need specific jobs done, such as software development, graphic design, and more. In the video, the claim is made that Devin, the AI, can take on messy Upwork tasks and make money from them. The video's creator, Carl, disputes this claim, stating that the video does not actually show Devin completing any Upwork tasks, and thus the claim is misleading.


In the context of the video, 'hype' refers to the excessive and sometimes misleading promotion of a product or concept, in this case, AI's capabilities. Carl criticizes the hype around Devin, arguing that it leads to unrealistic expectations and fear, uncertainty, and doubt among people who are not technically knowledgeable. He emphasizes the importance of being anti-hype and focusing on the realistic applications of AI.

๐Ÿ’กGenerative AI

Generative AI refers to the subset of AI technologies that can create new content, such as text, images, or code. In the video, Carl mentions generative AI as a cool and impressive technology but also expresses concern about the exaggerated claims made about its abilities. He argues that while generative AI tools like GitHub Copilot and ChatGPT have their uses, they should not be misrepresented as being more capable than they are.


Devin is the purported 'first AI software engineer' introduced by a company, which Carl disputes in the video. He argues that Devin is not truly a software engineer and that the company's claims about its capabilities are exaggerated. Devin is used as a case study in the video to illustrate the discrepancies between the hype surrounding AI and its actual capabilities.


The term 'technical' in the video refers to the understanding and knowledge of technology, specifically in the context of software development and AI. Carl emphasizes the importance of technical expertise in evaluating the claims made about AI capabilities. He points out that non-technical people are more susceptible to believing the hype around AI because they may not have the knowledge to critically assess these claims.


In the context of the video, 'bugs' refer to errors or flaws in software programs. Carl argues that the hype around AI can lead to a proliferation of bugs on the internet because people may trust AI-generated code without sufficiently scrutinizing it. He warns that this can lead to a worsened ecosystem for everyone, with more exploits and hacks occurring as a result.

๐Ÿ’กCloud Instance

A 'cloud instance' is a virtual server that runs on a cloud computing platform, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). In the video, Carl discusses the need for a cloud instance to run a specific software repository and how Devin supposedly sets up an environment on AWS. However, he points out that the video does not show Devin actually completing the task as described by the Upwork client.


In the context of the video, a 'deliverable' refers to the end product or result that is expected from a job or project. Carl discusses the discrepancy between what was promised as a deliverable (detailed instructions on how to run a model on AWS) and what Devin actually produced. He argues that the deliverable shown in the video does not match what the Upwork client requested.


Transparency in the video refers to the openness and honesty in presenting information, particularly about the capabilities and performance of AI systems. Carl advocates for transparency in demonstrating what AI can and cannot do, criticizing the lack of it in the presentation of Devin's abilities. He suggests that companies should provide raw footage or evidence to back up their claims about AI capabilities.


Carl, a software professional for 35 years, challenges the claim that Devin is the world's 'first AI software engineer'.

The video aims to debunk the hype around Devin and its alleged capabilities in performing Upwork tasks.

Carl emphasizes the importance of not exaggerating AI's current capabilities and the potential harm of such misinformation.

Devin's introduction was met with fanfare, but Carl questions the legitimacy of the 'first AI software engineer' title.

Carl highlights the negative consequences of non-technical people overestimating AI's abilities.

The video provides a detailed breakdown of the specific Upwork task that Devin was said to have completed.

Carl points out that the task chosen for Devin was cherry-picked, not representative of random Upwork jobs.

The actual instructions given to Devin were not what the customer requested, leading to a mismatch in expectations.

Carl explains the critical role of communication in software engineering, an area where AI currently falls short.

Devin's output did not meet the customer's requirements, yet the company's narrative suggested otherwise.

Carl demonstrates that the actual task could be accomplished with a simpler process than what Devin showed.

Devin's purported code debugging was actually fixing its own generated errors, not those from the repository.

Carl's replication of Devin's task revealed that the AI made unnecessary complications in its approach.

Devin's video gave the false impression of accomplishing a lot of work, whereas it was a simple task.

Carl found and fixed a real error in the repository that Devin overlooked, showing the limitations of AI in debugging.

Devin took significantly longer to complete the task than Carl, questioning the efficiency of AI in such scenarios.

Carl calls for transparency and truthfulness in AI capabilities and urges the audience to be skeptical of AI hype.