Importance of Programming Vs Showing

In the first course, in the first week, in the Geoffrey Hinton Interview, they speak about the importance of showing: " over half of the applicants are actually wanting to work on showing, rather than programming".

I don’t really know what showing means in that context? Is it just about supervised learning. Like train the model with labeled data and eventually it will learn the intended output/function? Or is it about something else?

From the transcript…

Instead of programming them, we now show them, and they figure it out. That’s a completely different way of using computers, and computer science departments are built around the idea of programming computers. And they don’t understand that sort of, this showing computers is going to be as big as programming computers. Except they don’t understand that half the people in the department should be people who get computers to do things by showing them.

You don’t program a computer to distinguish a cat from a dog. You show it a cat (lots of cats) and show it a non-cat (lots of them). Eventually, the computer can recognize cat even though it was never explicitly programmed to do so. So yeah, learning by example, aka showing. HTH

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