We are now in the age of AI mania, from the heels of Crypto mania and other mania. Unlike the previous manias that we encountered, this one might have some significant impact although how big the impact has not been ascertained. Some spoke about the singularity event coming soon which means the end of the human race, but some have a lesser degree of pessimistic view of AI. The worst, for them, is that AI would take all human jobs.

Recently, there was a hoo-ha about Devin (a pun on “dev-in”) which demoed as an AI that aims to replace all human programmers and developers. It shows things that a developer would do: understand the problem, devise a solution, build the code, and ship the product. One of their claims is that Devin has generated money through Upwork.

So does the AI revolution mean the end of all human jobs?

For

Motivation behind AI in white collar job

Why of all companies, AI companies are hell-bent on replacing their workers who built the system in the first place? Here’s a possible take:


Robots that do white collar jobs might be a CEO's wet dream, but humans always crave the human connection.

For a lot of companies, human resources is a big monolith of unpredictability. They can cost a lot, take a long time to train, and can be costly to replace. If AI can get most of the job done, then it would be much easier to get things done.

Automation is just a matter of time

Software engineering is a creative endeavor that requires a lot of critical thinking and making intuitive leaps to solve problems. But, on the other hand, a lot of the code-building process is also very repetitive and has a lot of boilerplate code to run things.


For car factories, it's no longer a dark, dirty place, but a well-lighted environment managed by highly skilled people.

AI can be a great tool to streamline the process and have a lot of tasks automated to minimize risks and errors. Think of this like the assembly line in a factory. It used to take a lot of manpower to build a car, but most of the jobs were repetitive. Those jobs like welding, stamping, painting, and others are now handled by robots. Humans are still required for the fine-tuning stuff and the final inspection. Developing apps could headed this way.

Against

AI is still coloring inside the box

Despite what some pundits say about the recent AI revolution, what researchers have developed is a tool that still colors inside the box. Creativity is not something AI has been known for as all of the training data still comes from humans. So, it will try its best to mimic human

AI doesn’t know if it is wrong

Researchers have been trying their best to make AI follow a certain pattern. The problem occurs when they go off-tagent and don’t realize it was wrong. For example, Google released a new feature where you can turn images from a text description. And AI researchers have put too much emphasis on racial inclusivity that you ask the AI chatbox to draw a picture of Scottish peasants in the 16th century, you get a gingered color person that looks of African descent, which is an impossibility for that period.

Creativity is still not an AI thing

The most important skill for a developer is not how to code, but how to solve problems. And some problems require some out-of-the-box thinking. Sure, a lot of developers’ problems have been made and remade, but there are still some problems out there that require creativity and so far, AI hasn’t solved that issue … yet.

Conclusion


US manufacturing employment vs output. With automation, factories are more productive with fewer people needed to do the job. Hopefully, AI will do to app development as robots did to manufacturing.

The AI revolution might look like a threat to tech workers, but let’s take the example of automation in manufacturing. Despite decades of advances in automation in manufacturing where we have robots, machines, and now AI in building things, we still have humans in the factory. For one, productivity is at an all-time high now thanks to these advances and AI might bring the same advances in manufacturing to the white-collar work.

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