Stop being lazy or AI will come for you

Is Artificial Intelligence going to replace us?

I’ve had yesterday a short discussion about replacing programmers by any kind of Artificial Intelligence. That brought me some conclusions linked to the problems I always had to solve being a manager.

What I want to focus on is neither to question if the software will replace programmers writing software nor when will it do it. Actually, it seems it already does in some areas. The biggest companies like Google, Microsoft, and many others are already showing a lot of results in this area.

What I want to talk about is: what are we actually better at compared to AI?

We have feelings, we have the sense of humor and we’re kids whatever the age we reach. We may then produce the code we think is funny:

public void BaleFire(){....

We’re also great at putting funny comments in the code:

//I got a raise today. I decided to write Haiku!

//Here goes haiku

Who worked on a so-called legacy code, could swear it’s a pure pleasure to read it, refactor it, and remove all the useless loads of code we’re producing. We can show a lot of productivity if it goes about feelings. Except if we’re depressed… feelings and our psychology does not necessarily have to be our strength.

On the other hand, when we’re not trying to be funny, productivity has always been our problem. We’re looking all day long for motivation, every possible source is good.

Videos, podcasts, books, but not only, we EXPECT our managers to motivate us well because otherwise, we’re not productive, we just can’t focus and somehow the keyboard seems lazy.

But wait, is it the keyboard that is lazy?

There’s also the programming FLOW. The famous flow that if somebody interrupts you, it takes ages to come back to the programming nirvana. Maciek described it quite well in one of his VLogs (sorry, Polish only).

When I’m thinking about other nice attributes of human developers these days, I can also recall all the necessary things at work, without which, the environment is just not right. Let’s bring some examples here: sofas, xboxes, fridges packed with beers …

Sure, sure … I know we’re not that bad 🙂

But if you could only think about any kind of software doing the job we’re doing today, the big picture looks kinda scary.

That’s because of one, very simple and straightforward conclusion: AI doesn’t need motivation.

AI doesn’t have bad days, it has a clear interface, it won’t make jokes and won’t watch youtube for the half of the day at work. It will be capable of applying code metrics, test coverage, dependencies analysis, resolving merging conflicts and all the complex things we’re good at when we’re experienced. It doesn’t experience FLOW (well, probably :)) and it may work 24/7/365.

Plus, with each tick of the timer, it is probably going to be better.

One could say, that AI won’t write good code due to problems with specifying requirements – and without precise requirements, the machine won’t understand/conclude the intended product. But wait, are we different in any way? I would say that the problem with specifications, misunderstandings, communication are the main problems with the projects. I believe AI may have fewer problems than we actually do.


Hmmm, that sounds like a really bad vision. Not very optimistic, huh? This being said, how could we conclude?

Whatever this whole topic will bring and whatever is the timeline for replacing us with machines, I don’t think it’s that much important. We will probably find some way to remain in control of the software as software developers. What I find more important to say is more general than just AI.

We should care more about what we’re doing good and where should we improve, than what anybody else is or will be doing.

We have so many areas in which we need improvement, that we should waste a single minute wondering about somebody else’s problems or strengths. If we want to become irreplaceable, we have to spend each hour, each day, each month, year and our entire life on becoming better in every aspect of our life.

I believe that if we only do it like that, we will never have to care about Artificial Intelligence.

So stay focused. Stop complaining. Activate your hidden power 🙂 Execute.

Of course, don’t hesitate to sound off in the comments section.

Advent of Blog

This is my third post in the series of Advent of Blog 2017. I will be publishing one post per day as I mentioned in my first post of the series.

Stay tuned.

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