Tech luminaries have called for a pause in the development and deployment of AI models more advanced than OpenAI’s GTP-4 until risks such as job displacement and misinformation can be better understood. However, even if major tech companies were to comply, AI models that have already been developed are likely to have profound impacts, particularly in software development. Alphabet’s agreement to supply AI to Replit, a web-based coding tool, is a significant move as it enables Replit to utilize Google’s AI models in Ghostwriter, a tool that provides code recommendations and answers code-related questions. The incorporation of AI into code can also accelerate software development. Last week, OpenAI announced its first plugins for ChatGPT that will make it possible for the bot to perform tasks like searching for flights, booking restaurants, and ordering groceries.
Research from Microsoft indicates that developers can perform tasks over 50 percent faster when using an AI assistant. Companies that offer cutting-edge AI can draw developers to their coding tools and get them accustomed to their clouds and software. Thus, the incorporation of AI into software development could become the next big battleground for large tech companies. Amazon has developed an AI coding tool called Code Whisperer, and Meta is working on one for internal use, while Apple may not want to be left behind.
However, the rapid incorporation of AI into software development could lead to challenges. AI tools can reproduce vulnerabilities in the code they suggest that developers may not notice or might be unable to spot. Additionally, developers might become more complacent if they rely too heavily on AI, or if their skills atrophy. Moreover, “technical debt” might arise if programmers need to go back and fix software that no human has ever closely examined.
In conclusion, while pausing the development of AI models might be necessary for better understanding of its risks, it is likely that AI models that have already been developed will have significant impacts on software development. The incorporation of AI into software development could also become the next big battleground for major tech companies. Nonetheless, it should be noted that the rapid incorporation of AI into software development could pose challenges, such as reproducing vulnerabilities and creating technical debt.