Shortly, Artificial Intelligence (AI): will it help programmers in completing their tasks or, on the contrary: will it wind up competing with them? In the end: will it end up replacing them? We already have an idea as to how fast this topic is progressing, over time.
I am particularly drawn to these questions because I was a programmer for many years, and I must say that this activity, albeit a lot of fun for me, was sometimes truly mentally demanding.
With Digital Transformation, we have reached a hyperconnected world through artifacts such as servers, networks, mobiles, computers, tablets, or devices enabled with the Internet of Things. We live in a world that needs more and more software programmers, however, finding people with this assorted knowledge seems easier said than done. In the USA alone, according to www.forbes.com, there is a deficit of 920,000 positions.
And what seem to be the consequences of this high demand for qualified people in the market? As the world requires more and more software development, one of the consequences is that a programmers salary is increasingly high, and many times building and supporting specialized teams ends up becoming a giant budget sized headache for many companies.
This is where artificial intelligence (AI) comes to play as a beacon of light on the near horizon to acquire swift balance. Let’s see some examples:
Many companies are already using the program GPT-3 that uses AI to help developers write code. Much of what these programmers write has already been written elsewhere at some point in the past. AI can be trained to predict the lines that a programmer needs next. Then, when the programmer types, possible «code completions» one or a few lines appear on the screen. You can search for demos here.
GitHub Copilot is another example. They have promised on their website to put «the knowledge you need within reach of programmers,» which «saves them time» and helps them «stay focused.» With this software, a developer can step through the alternate suggestions, choose which one to accept or reject, and manually edit the suggested code. The program adapts to the edits it makes, coinciding with the programmer’s coding style.
Tahine is another program with two taglines: AI Completions. Never Code Alone and Making developers more productive (here). One of the featured testimonials on the page states that the program had driven him crazy because he went from writing 80% of the code himself to just 10%.
The purpose of all this is to increase the flow of software package deliveries by programmers, which aims to balance the supply and demand of Software programmers.
In a world where software and digital transformation are part of the critical levers of the competitiveness of organizations and people, this help is more than welcome.
Now, does this inevitably mean that I think programmers will disappear in the short to mid-term? No, hasn’t even come to mind. Will the balance shift a bit? It depends on the growth of the software and computer programmers demand, and so far, there is nothing to indicate that demand will not continue to grow by leaps and bounds in the coming years.
Who do I think will continue to be indispensable — regardless of the development of AI? People who develop purely human skills such as empathy. For sure.
As Peter Diamantis puts it in this interview with Andrés Oppenheimer: Digitization must go hand in hand with humanization.
Put this text in large print in the article:
Digitization must go hand in hand with humanization.
To make any software, we need to understand what people want. And that is what the machine will not be able to replace, no matter how many algorithms it writes. What do you think? Would you like to study this topic with us? Shall we set up a study group?
Note: Thanks to Carlos Mario Duque for his contributions to this article
The cover image was taken from vecteezy
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