Since the recent emergence of artificial intelligence (AI) tools like AI chatbots and GPT-3-based applications such as ChatGPT, BARD, etc., concerns have been raised about the impact of AI in various industries, including software development and programming. Content creators have been taking advantage of these trends by creating content about how AI will replace programmers.
I came across an article that said ChatGPT Will Replace Programmers Within 10 Years. Well, I strongly disagree with this, and after reading this article, I was motivated to write my own opinion on AI and programmers jobs.
Let's journey together as I share with you my opinions on the relationship between AI and programmers.
AI is making programmers jobs easier and improving their efficiency, and there is no doubt AI is here to stay.
AI tools can help with bug fixes, code generation, auto-code completion, and much more. AI also helps programmers automate repetitive tasks in order to keep them focused on more complex tasks that require creativity and problem-solving. These wonderful features are a game-changer for programmers.
Here are some common benefits of AI for programmers:
Developers can leverage AI-powered programming tools that generate code snippets according to predefined specifications. By analysing existing codebases, these tools identify patterns and offer suggestions, thereby saving programmers valuable time and effort that would otherwise be spent on writing repetitive codes.
This cannot replace human programmers. Instead, it aims to augment programmers capabilities and provide them with intelligent suggestions to speed up the coding process.
Examples of code generation tools are GitHub Copilot, Kite on IDEs, OpenAI's Codex, and much more.
Debugging can be strenuous and time-consuming for programmers. AI can be used to make this task easier. As a programmer, you can easily prompt an error message to an AI tool like ChatGPT, and ChatGPT will return suggestions to fix your code.
AI techniques such as natural language processing (NLP) can be used to analyse a codebase and therefore make suggestions on where improvements are needed for performance optimisation. This AI feature can help programmers create quality code and more efficient software.
ChatGPT can generate codes, which is great. But these are basic codes. For example, you can ask ChatGPT to generate code to scrape data or build a React app. Awesome, but you can't ask ChatGPT to build a complex solution. You can't prompt ChatGPT to build an end-to-end machine learning system.
To fully utilise the power of these AI tools in software development, you have to know the right questions to ask.
That being said, you have to be technical to ask AI for a solution. Someone with little or no experience in programming will not know what to ask; even if they ask, they won't be able to build a solution from the answer.
Software development is not just about writing codes; it requires an understanding of the industry, users, and stakeholders involved in the project. When developing a new application, it is important to determine the preferences and requirements of the target audience.
Human programmers can interact with users to understand their needs and make changes based on feedback, whereas AI products like ChatGPT don't have the ability to understand what users want and adapt to their changing needs.
Sometimes users do not really understand what they want in a product; it is the job of a programmer to understand what a user is trying to emphasise. And this cannot be achieved with any AI product.
AI tools are good at generating codes based on existing patterns, but they lack the creativity that human programmers possess. Programming is a field that requires problem-solving and outside-the-box thinking, and ChatGPT and other AI tools don't yet have this ability.
Collaboration and teamwork are essential in software development, and while AI tools can perform many tasks, they can't replicate the human ability for communication, collaboration, and brainstorming that is necessary in the lifecycle of software development.
Ethics and morals
Safety and security are important factors to consider in software development. AI tools like ChatGPT can generate code, but they don't have the ability to consider ethical applications and make moral judgements.
AI can understand many things, but there are still things it is not good at; for example, comedy and sarcasm. AI can't understand humour.
As of now, AI won't replace you as a programmer; no company will replace its programmers with AI; rather, AI and human programmers will work collaboratively, with AI acting as a powerful tool to assist and augment human capabilities rather than fully replacing them.
AI, including language models like ChatGPT, can assist programmers in various tasks, such as code generation, bug detection, code completion, and more. But Human programmers bring creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving abilities, domain knowledge, and a deeper understanding of user needs and business requirements to the table. These uniquely human skills are difficult for AI to replicate entirely.
The future of AI in programming is expected to be about augmentation rather than replacement, with AI and humans working together to create better software solutions.
Thank you for reading this article thus far. I hope you found it informative. If you have any suggestions or come across any errors, I would greatly appreciate it if you could connect with me on LinkedIn or send me an email. Your feedback is valuable to me, and I'm open to any comments or questions you may have.