Large Language Models: Compilers for the 4^{th} Generation of Programming Languages? (Short Paper)

Authors Francisco S. Marcondes , José João Almeida , Paulo Novais

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Author Details

Francisco S. Marcondes
  • ALGORITMI Research Centre/LASI, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
José João Almeida
  • ALGORITMI Research Centre/LASI, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal
Paulo Novais
  • ALGORITMI Research Centre/LASI, University of Minho, Braga, Portugal

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Francisco S. Marcondes, José João Almeida, and Paulo Novais. Large Language Models: Compilers for the 4^{th} Generation of Programming Languages? (Short Paper). In 12th Symposium on Languages, Applications and Technologies (SLATE 2023). Open Access Series in Informatics (OASIcs), Volume 113, pp. 10:1-10:8, Schloss Dagstuhl – Leibniz-Zentrum für Informatik (2023)


This paper explores the possibility of large language models as a fourth generation programming language compiler. This is based on the idea that large language models are able to translate a natural language specification into a program written in a particular programming language. In other words, just as high-level languages provided an additional language abstraction to assembly code, large language models can provide an additional language abstraction to high-level languages. This interpretation allows large language models to be thought of through the lens of compiler theory, leading to insightful conclusions.

Subject Classification

ACM Subject Classification
  • Computing methodologies → Artificial intelligence
  • Computing methodologies → Natural language processing
  • Software and its engineering → Compilers
  • programming language
  • compiler
  • large language model


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