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A good assembler-language programmer these days starts with the output of a compiler. And then proceeds to beat the pants off said compiler by optimizing specific portions.

Not least because no language includes sufficient semantic information for the compiler to be able to safely optimize all the parts that the programmer can.

It's still mostly true - just not worth the effort for anything but smaller fragments.

Yeah, I was going to say something similar. You'll never get a compiler to be as intelligent as a human being. At best you'll get human intelligence rapidly applied by a computer to a problem. The computer will be able to do this "manual labor" (if you want to call it that) faster than a human can. However, a human being will be able to find ways to optimize for the problem that a computer will not be able to.

I realize that many people believe that computers will some day be able to truly think on a human level. I just don't happen to be one of those people.

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