“We’ve shifted the responsibility of extracting relevant context for software engineering tasks from developers to the AI agents”: Microsoft’s AI-based framework turns developers to overnight ‘mere supervisors’

What you need to know

  • A research paper recently published by Microsoft details how its AI framework is turning software engineering into a fully automated task, rendering developers “mere supervisors.”
  • NVIDIA’s CEO had previously warned that coding is not a viable career option for the future generation as AI will eventually take over the profession.
  • Upskilling seems like a viable option, especially if you want to explore opportunities in coding.
  • Recruiters are actively seeking professionals with AI skills.

While safety and privacy are among the significant concerns among users with the prevalence and fast adoption of AI, the loss of jobs to AI is quickly rising in the ranks, too. Microsoft’s Bill Gates recently expressed fear of losing his career to AI but indicated the technology presents a 3-day workweek opportunity as it can handle mundane and recurring tasks.

NVIDIA’s CEO, Jensen Huang, shared the same sentiments and claimed that coding might be dead in the water as a career option for the next generation, given the rapid adoption of generative AI. As it turns out, Huang and Microsoft might be on the same train of thought regarding coding as a viable career option for the future generation. 

Microsoft recently published a research paper that painted a clearer picture, highlighting the future of coding and developers as artificial intelligence becomes more widespread. The paper provides an in-depth analysis of AutoDev — an AI-powered framework designed to ‘assist’ developers with software development, ultimately redefining coding and automation. 

The research paper further details instances where the framework was tested and performed well by providing repositories to tackle technical software engineering work. It’s worth noting that the technology also ships with AI-powered capabilities to validate its outcomes. AutoDev supports file editing, retrieval, build processes, execution, testing, and git operations. 

As highlighted by the researchers in the paper:

“The developer’s role within the AutoDev framework transforms from manual actions and validation of AI suggestions to a supervisor overseeing multi-agent collaboration on tasks, with the option to provide feedback. Developers can monitor AutoDev’s progress toward goals by observing the ongoing conversation used for communication among agents and the repository.”

The report further outlines:

“We’ve shifted the responsibility of extracting relevant context for software engineering tasks and validating AI-generated code from users (mainly developers) to the AI agents themselves.”

With this in mind, It’s only a matter of time before the AI-based framework becomes self-sufficient and can run operations without human supervision or intervention. This shift ultimately means coding might not be a viable career option in the foreseeable future. 

Upskilling seems like the only viable option to remain relevant

An image of an AI robot stood in front of code generated by Bing Image Creator

(Image credit: Windows Central / Bing Image Creator)

While commenting on the viability of coding as a career option for the next generation, NVIDIA’s boss indicated that the youth are better off seeking opportunities in biology, education, manufacturing, or farming. He added that the only way around this challenge for people already invested in coding is to upskill (specifically in AI). This way, it’ll be possible to maintain relevance and contribute to programming projects.

Coding isn’t the only profession impacted by the fast adoption of AI. Architecture and graphic design jobs are also at risk, too. AI-powered tools like Image Creator from Designer (Bing Image Creator), ChatGPT, Midjourney, and more are already great at generating detailed and impressive structural designs within a moment’s notice. 

However, they aren’t perfect either. Did you know AI struggles to create a simple, plain white image? This limitation is on top of the heightened censorship of the tools, which has seemingly lobotomized their capabilities. There’s been an alarming increase in reports flagging deepfakes and explicit images surfacing online. A study also revealed recruiters are seeking professionals with AI skills, so it might not be a bad idea to upskill in the area. 

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