tanaypratap's letters

Is the AI threat real?

Published 5 months ago • 3 min read

People were still settling in with ChatGPT3 when its updated version ChatGPT4 was released. On top of that, there are rumors of Q* and OpenAI achieving AGI. Then there's Google and Gemini.

The side-effect of these advancements in AI is the fear that AI will take away jobs. You do not want another threat in the current market where jobs are already scarce. My YouTube comments are full of them.

I believe that the fear, as real as it seems, is quite misplaced.

the constant fear of change

Throughout history, humans have been witnessed to not do well with change, especially scientific advancements. The Vatican is infamous for it.

The fear of AI is simply a new-age recurrence of the same, old discomfort to change.

What one doesn’t understand is that change is necessary for growth. When compilers were introduced, programmers during that time had the same fear that they would lose their jobs. However, the requirement for programmers has increased ever since. Compilers are just a tool that makes coding simpler. So is AI.

When React was introduced in 2015, the same fear-mongering had started again. React did push the frontiers in web development. But it came with its own set of issues. The apps became heavy and then we required people who specialized in performance management of web apps. Jobs increased.

tech assimilation takes time

The ones who spread this fear that AI will take jobs have an agenda (aka, a course to sell).

No technology is adopted overnight.

Tech assimilation takes tonnes of time. React was introduced in 2015. So, all Angular or JQuery jobs should have been eliminated overnight? Did they?

It’s only in the past 3-4 years that React has become the most commonly used framework. Even then, there are still developers and companies who build with Angular or JQuery.

You need to understand that if someone says that AI will take over programming jobs overnight, they do not understand tech, how it works, and the timelines with which it is adopted.

so what will AI do?

AI will help you become a better web developer.

It will take away the rudimentary and boring tasks of testing, documentation, and the like. As important as these tasks are from the perspective of writing good software, every programmer will agree that they are not the most interesting.

There are multiple other ways that AI will also help programmers, especially freshers.

  1. Copywriting
    AI is amazing at copywriting. Ask chatGPT to give some witty one-liners on any subject and the output will be something you can’t come up with in even months.
    Gone are the days of Lorem Ipsum. Give a basic prompt, generate the copy, and make your website ready to use.
  2. Web security
    This is another area where most developers struggle. There are tools available that can perform a basic checkup. But AI can make your web apps a lot more secure.
  3. Performance testing
    Google Lighthouse does solve this issue to an extent. Yet again, AI takes it a notch higher by getting into the code and finding the issues.
  4. Data Analytics
    I have personally observed the best of apps lack analytics. Today, when everything happens on the Internet, data takes a lot more precedence.
    You can utilize AI to understand what metrics you should track or keep in mind for your primary user persona. As an example, if you are building for a person living in an Indian village who still runs the Internet on 3G, chatGPT can tell you that you have to optimize for RAM, processing power, etc. because your user might not be using the fanciest phone.
  5. Automated Web Design
    You create a rough UI on paper and AI can generate Figma files for you. No more running after that one busy designer in your team.Since I don’t want designers coming after me that AI will take design jobs, let me clarify that Behance and Themeforest already have templates, although at a cost.
    Just like Canva did, AI will help developers get an appreciation for design. And when they need someone to take it up a notch, they will hire designers.

the definition of a developer will be updated

Just because a JCB made the task of digging easier, did the contractor, the architect, or the engineer take it up?

AI is still very basic, but it does perform the basic jobs better than any human would.

The next-age developer will not be someone who just writes code. That won’t be good enough anymore.

The next-age developer will have the skill to build systems by understanding client, server, data, database, and interactions. The bar for developers will get higher. They would be expected to have product understanding, be able to interact with users, and think through both user and developer experience.

The new-age developer will be a web developer with system understanding, product understanding, and most notably, AI understanding - a dev who can take things to the next level with the help of AI.

like, share, and subscribe

I know this isn’t YouTube, but the habit has become way too strong now. So, make sure to subscribe to Tanay’s letters and share your thoughts on this issue.

That’s what motivates me to write these issues amidst all the startup work.

P.S. Now that I have started writing the letters actively, I would strongly recommend unsubscribing if you don't find them to benefit you in any way.

tanaypratap's letters

I write about mentorship, education, tech, career, and startups.

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