Software engineers have joined the ranks of copy editors, translators, and others who fear that they’re about to be replaced by generative AI. But new technologies have long promised to “disrupt” engineering, and these innovations have always failed to get rid of the need for human software developers, Wired observes. If anything, they often made these workers that much more indispensable.
AI has clear benefits. More than nine out of 10 U.S. developers are deploying AI coding tools, citing advantages such as productivity gains (53%), the ability to focus more on building/creating as opposed to repetitive tasks (51%) and the prevention of burnout (41%). It’s also cutting down nearly one-half of the time spent on generating and documenting code., SC Media reports.
Deciphering security best practices and spotting poor coding patterns, however, have emerged as needed skills.
During the pandemic, Yatish Turakhia developed software tools to trace the evolution of new Covid variants. Now he and a team at UC Santa Cruz’s Genomics Institute are applying his techniques to other diseases, the MIT Technology Review reports.
Almost a third of our time on the job is spent on performative work or tasks done to simply appear productive without contributing to company or team goals, says Lidiane Jones, CEO of Slack Technologies. Writing on Fast Company, Jones says she believes generative AI can be a creativity catalyst, not the job destroyer many people fear. “With a little help from the machines,” she says, “we can stop acting like corporate robots.”
A group of philosophers, neuroscientists and computer scientists has proposed a list of measurable qualities that might help determine whether an AI system like ChatGPT could be considered conscious. Their analysis "suggests that no current AI systems are conscious, but also suggests that there are no obvious technical barriers to building AI systems which satisfy these indicators."
“Enough is enough. A full-scale review of the use and practices around remote-control locomotives is long overdue.”
—Artie Maratea, Transportation Communications Union president, after a railroad worker died when he was struck by a remote-controlled train in a CSX railyard in Ohio