Five years ago, one Oxford study estimated that software engineers have just an 8% chance of automation in the next 20 years.
Another study by a team of researchers at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, claims that by 2040 machine learning and natural language processing technologies will be capable of writing better software code faster than the best human coders.
The most recent forecasts say the demand for developers is set to massively increase over the next decade. Among all programming jobs, the ones that involve creating, running, optimizing and testing AI are the most in demand and the most well-paying.
While we can’t tell exactly what will happen in the future, there is one thing we’re pretty certain about: programmers will be seeing more and more AI in their workplace in the coming years.
And if AI does make a programmer’s job obsolete, there’s no need to worry. Technology has been taking the jobs of people throughout its history. And 20 years from now, there will be loads of new jobs we can’t even imagine.
Today’s intelligent systems can be trained to recognize faces in pictures, make personalized product recommendations, predict mistakes in code. But they can’t think like the human brain. Nor can they write their own algorithms that solve problems just like human programmers do.
“Creating software is primarily about converting vague requirements into a strict specification that can be run deterministically,” said Artur Hebda, a software developer from Railsware, an AI consulting firm, “And that’s not easy even for humans.”
Trying to specify the software and understand what problem it’s going to solve is much harder than just writing the code. This is something only humans can do.