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How AI and Software 2.0 will change the role of programmers
Remember when software was eating the world? The trendy observation these days is that artificial intelligence (AI) is eating software. Even Google CEO Sundar Pichai has talked about software that “automatically writes itself.” And certainly if you consider software development to be little more than the creation of oft-repeated segments of code, then the rapid advances in AI would give software engineers pause. Traditionally, developers have written software as a series of hard-coded rules: If X happens then do Y. The human instructs the machine, line by line. That’s Software 1.0. But Software 2.0 recognizes that — with advances in deep learning — we can build a neural network that learns which instructions or rules are needed for a desired outcome. The argument made by 2.0 proponents like Andrej Karpathy, director of AI at Tesla, is that we won’t really write code anymore. We’ll just be finding data and feeding it into machine learning systems. In this scenario, we can imagine the role of software engineer morphing into “data curator” or “data enabler.” Whatever we call ourselves, we’ll be people who are no longer writing code.
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