Staying in The Game When AI Comes Knocking
As AI becomes more advanced and creeps further across the software development process, there's a greater need for more managers.
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Artificial Intelligence is making giant strides in performing tasks that were once reserved for human beings. From self-driving cars to defeating humans in strategy games, AI is a game changer. The primary driver of this change is the success of deep learning algorithms made possible largely by the generation of a large amount of consumer behavior and activity data and the availability of big data technologies and processing power at lower costs. We are already seeing some implementations of AI which can inspect requirements, develop code, detect bugs, and provide fixes for the same. Will this make jobs as a software developer and tester obsolete? Well, based on my extensive experience in software testing and automation, it doesn’t seem like this will necessarily be the case.
Even with all the developments in AI, there is still the silver lining that our biological neural network is eons ahead of the artificial one. We are still far from achieving a generalized AI and our human brain still outperforms almost all the tasks currently being automated by AI. Artificial intelligence, just like our previous efforts of automation, is going to affect all kinds of manual jobs. Jobs like data entry, test case design, and execution are all aspects which will be affected and will surely make such tasks obsolete sooner than later. But this will also give rise to new jobs which require testers to be aware of testing algorithms that drive these AI. It will also create managerial positions which will be managing AI bots to perform similar functions as they do now. AI-assisted software development will be a norm for quite some time until we make some technological advancements in making AI algorithms more robust.
Thus, the current workforce needs to take their careers more seriously and invest in learning and understanding their domain and business functions. The human brain will still be better at innovation since innovation requires a mix of creativity, imagination and a drive to be better which is something that AIs will lack. It is also not very likely that business owners and the C-Suite will ever let the machines take over their organizations. They would need a human workforce to maintain and monitor the AI for anomalies. Leadership and presentation skills will be in demand, which are necessary to help decision-makers in making crucial decisions.
As for the students and new members of the workforce, it is imperative to start taking a more practical and future-focused approach to investing in their education to remain relevant in the fast-changing world. No longer can the workforce rely on being passive about their education or careers. Universities and places of education should be more Agile with keeping up with the new technologies. They should encourage and invite more industry personnel to mentor and train the new generation to produce a more productive and effective workforce. As the world becomes more competitive and economies become global, the new workforce needs to be better prepared to take on the responsibility of contributing to this growing machinery.
The new AI-enabled age will transform the way we work for the better by reducing the time spent on labor-intensive, repetitive, and manual tasks, and instead, free up the human brain to work on more value-added work. Let’s stay focused and keep learning.
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