"Computer programming is the process of constructing executable code from fragmentary information. ... When computer programming is done by a machine, the process is called automatic programming. AI researchers are interested in studying automatic programming for two reasons: First, it would be highly useful to have a powerful automatic programming systems that could receive casual and imprecise specifications for a desired target program and then correctly generate that program; second, automatic programming is widely believed to be a necessary component of any intelligent system and is therefore a topic for fundamental research in its own right."
– excerpt from Biermann, A. 1992. Automatic Programming. In Encyclopedia of Artificial Intelligence. 2nd edition, Stuart C. Shapiro, editor, 18 - 35. New York: John Wiley & Sons.
An ability to write functionally correct programs -- those that pass test cases? A seasoned interviewer would tell you that there is much more to writing code than passing test cases! For starters, we really care for how well a candidate understands the problem and approaches a solution than being able to write functionally correct code. Machine learning has helped solved many grading challenges -- spoken english, essay grading, program grading and math problem grading to cite a few examples.