Artificial Intelligence is becoming a more common phrase with each passing day. The ability of a digital computer performing intelligent tasks was once something only seen in sci-fi movies or deemed to only be done by humans.

AI is now capable of composing music, learning to diagnose diseases, driving cars, playing games and much, much more, including writing code. So does that mean that it’s time for programmers to start getting worried?

Coding for people who can’t code:

In 2015 Andrej Karpathy, who is now director of AI at Tesla, used Recurrent Neural Networks to generate code. He combined a Linux repository into one document and used it to train the RNN how to code. After leaving it running overnight the RNN had generated a page of code which included parameters, variables, loops and correct indents. There were some mistakes but for the first time, it was a positive result.

Researchers at Microsoft and Cambridge University have developed AI that can write code, it is known as DeepCoder and it learns by searching through a huge database of code. It is believed that this will revolutionise coding for people who aren’t programmers. 

BenjaminTD, a French engineer, taught an AI how to write Python code back in 2016. He provided it with huge libraries of Python code so that it could learn from it. Again, the AI managed to create Python code but it was not without mistakes. It wasn’t bad for a first try but the errors made it far from perfect. The AI still had a lot of learning to do.

Learning on a different scale:

AI will be able to use the archives of available data, learning from history and from the knowledge of software developers. A machine learning algorithm reliant upon data will be able to understand how specific software has developed over time. In some ways it is very similar to the way we learn, it can just do it much faster and identify patterns more efficiently than we can. That doesn’t mean that humans and specifically programmers are going to become redundant though. Rather than seeing AI as a threat, it should be seen as an opportunity, an opportunity to become more efficient.

Real-time feedback on any code issues, design or any mistakes will significantly improve the efficiency of programmers. It doesn’t seem as though AI is going to replace programmers, more that it will work alongside them to become the ultimate coding team.

A Software Engineer | Photo: Arif Riyanto via Unsplash

A Software Engineer | Photo: Arif Riyanto via Unsplash

Realistic capabilities:

For now, artificial intelligence isn’t as reliable as a human programmer. Mistakes are still made, and it has its limitations. While the development of AI advancements continues, programmers still have plenty of time stay as the top dogs of the coding world. It will take time before AI is capable of developing more than just a few lines of code, and it will take even longer for it to understand the business uses and value of that code.

Life will change:

Many different industries will be affected by AI when it reaches the level of potential where it can change our daily lives. A lot of professionals may be replaced by AI or will find themselves working alongside it. For programmers, it is believed that AI will simply help them to conduct their jobs better by highlighting any potential issues or mistakes and helping the programmer to learn from their mistakes. It will make it easier for programmers to look at the bigger picture without scrolling through reams of code unsure what they’re looking for.

Our lives have already been changed by AI and a lot of the time we don’t even realise it. There are many AI-powered systems on the web that are constantly learning things such as consumer behaviour or how to generate a logo for your business. There are already many machine learning algorithms doing all sorts in different industries. We just don’t notice them because they aren’t supercomputers trying to wipe out humanity.

The AI takeover:

It is natural when a new and very misunderstood technology is introduced into the world that people are unsure how to react. We have all seen the scare stories, the science fictions and the mind-bending theories about AI taking over the world and eliminating the human race. Let’s just say – we’re not there yet. Ultimately AI does need to be carefully controlled and therefore programmers and developers are needed to make sure that it is controlled and used for the right things.

There is little doubt that eventually, AI will become smarter than humans, however, it is still some way off yet. While it is good to keep up to date on all of the latest news and innovations of the world, it’s also important to keep our imaginations in check. AI isn’t ready to take over programmer’s jobs yet and so it shouldn’t be an immediate concern. 

Author Bio: Aimee Laurence is a content writer and proofreader with years of experience. Aimee writes about technology and gadgets. 

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