Exploring the effects of the AI revolution on IT


By Benjamin James, freelance software engineer.

Artificial intelligence (AI) is disrupting almost every industry, ripping up the rulebook and bringing in new and efficient ways of doing things. In some cases, such as the arts, this can feel a little jarring – but one seemingly natural pairing is that of AI and the IT industry.

Given how interested professionals in this sector are in innovation and technology, it’s no wonder that AI is already making headway in this space.

But exactly what impact is this new technology having? Let’s take a look.

Assisted coding

With thousands of lines of code making up our technological products, writing them out by hand again and again can start to feel mundane for experienced professionals. If you’re already familiar with the programming language, then AI can act as a boost to supercharge your coding capabilities, allowing you to simply be an editor for straightforward sections and focus your energy on more complex areas.

In contrast, AI can also help junior coders expand their knowledge on the job, giving them assistance to find solutions. It could be argued that this means AI is doing the job for them – but they will still need to learn how to use the given code in their specific task. Plus, AI cannot yet come up with innovative solutions, so coders will still rely on their creative thinking skills. However, it’s true that AI can certainly play a role in accelerating the careers of junior developers.

Bug detection and debugging

Finding bugs and fixing them is one of those annoying tasks that can either be relatively quick or take up a frustratingly long amount of time. Research suggests that developers can spend around 25-50% of their time tackling these tasks – that’s a lot of time not writing new code.

AI can work behind the scenes, scanning and learning from other datasets to look for patterns or red flags. It can then apply this knowledge to your code, and identify errors without the need for hours of manual checking. A study undertaken by the University of Cambridge found that machine learning can find around 97% of errors, which just goes to show the potential of such technology – it’s a great fit for such a repetitive task.

Cybersecurity protection

With the rise of our reliance on computers comes the criminals who want to make the most of this new opportunity. Huge numbers of businesses and individuals are targeted by scammers every year, meaning that IT professionals are now looking for new ways to solidify the protection process.

AI can detect, collect and tackle threats that attempt to compromise users, creating an extra layer of security that is data-based, rather than relying on human attention to detail. This can be particularly beneficial for small businesses, who may not be able to justify the cost of a cybersecurity expert as a permanent member of staff. After an attempted attack, the decision-making tools that are embedded into AI software can help you identify other areas of your business that might be at risk, preventing and minimising future issues.

A helpful assistant

There’s some concern that the dawn of AI will mean everyone losing their jobs – even IT professionals. But it’s important to remember that AI cannot replicate human innovation or creativity. Instead, using it for repetitive, data-heavy tasks can free up your time to tackle the tricky issues that really need human intervention.

Author: Benjamin James
A freelance software engineer, Benjamin is fascinated by the way AI has taken the world by storm. A naturally curious person, he’s always looking to learn new ways this technology can impact the IT industry – for better and for worse.

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