Submitted by masterile t3_10o3u5x in Futurology

Farmers still exist today but they exist in drastically fewer numbers than two centuries ago. The modern farming machinery and techniques did not replace farmers but made the industry much less labor intensive.

Nowadays programming is a labor intensive activity with relative high salaries. AI is introducing the possibility to do this activity, that worldwide cost companies billions of dollars in programmers salaries, much more efficiently.

In my opinion, this is the goal of companies like OpenAI. They know that they can’t remove humans out of the loop because current AI is not able to substitute all human cognitive capabilities that intervine in a software developer daily job; like talking with the client, figuring out what he wants and translating it to functional requirements.

But nonetheless, they think they have a clear shot to make programming a non labor intensive activity like farming is today.

Of course, this is a compelling multibillion business opportunity that is attracting increasing capital from the tech and the financial sectors.



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BigZaddyZ3 t1_j6cfv01 wrote

Your logic doesn’t even make sense tbh. If it drastically reduces the number of them, it’s essentially replacing the majority of them… So saying “well.. like 10% of you may still have jobs in this field” isn’t the slam dunk argument against AI job replacement that you seem to think it is.

Also comparing software development to farming is a bit of a stretch. The two industries are nothing alike and there’s nothing that indicates that what happens to one will happen to the other as well.


Stealthychicken85 t1_j6cj1ez wrote

>The two industries are nothing alike and there’s nothing that indicates that what happens to one will happen to the other as well.

I mean advancements in farming equipment and technology did reduce the need for an abundance of farmhand workers, so it's a near comparison to say that advancing technology in any field will reduce the need for manpower.

It sucks but the more advanced we get the more people will lose their jobs and the rich get richer. Nothing will change this


BigZaddyZ3 t1_j6cjht4 wrote

No I get that. Greater technology will always reduce the amount of people that can be employed in that industry. Every field works that way. That’s not a direct similarity between those two industries in particular. Which is what I was referring to. Those two fields in particular don’t have all that much in common. So using one to predict the full outcome of the other is silly.


masterile OP t1_j6cr486 wrote

I was not using the analogy with farming as basis to make a prediction. I used it as a way of showing other historical case in which technology brought about a drastical reduction of labor in a given industry.


30kplus t1_j6dlezj wrote

funny how you didn’t mention the industrial revolution at all to make your point. we’re in a digital revolution. the entire landscape of things will change so drastically as to be unrecognizable from what it was.


sysnickm t1_j6gu9xx wrote

This works when those people are doing simple or repeatable tasks. Most programmers aren't doing repetitive tasks.

The programmers job is to solve problems, they may use an advanced ai to assist with that, but the ai doesn't really know if it had solved the problem.


ASuarezMascareno t1_j6ctg5a wrote

>It sucks but the more advanced we get the more people will lose their jobs and the rich get richer. Nothing will change this

That's an effect of the economic system, not something inherent to technology. Collective ownership of the means of production would make things different.


Stealthychicken85 t1_j6cu5i2 wrote

It's a literal byproduct of technology increasing productivity


ASuarezMascareno t1_j6cxuct wrote

It is only a byproduct of that in our current economic and political framework. An increase in productivity does not need to mean increase in profit for the few at the expense of the many.

How to use a technological increase in productivity is an economic an policial issue, not a technological one.

The easiest example of a different outcome would be sharing the profits of the increase in productivity by reducing working hours, while keeping the same amount of jobs and keeping wages. This way everyone wins. Rejecting these kinds of solutions is not about technology. Deciding that the only option is for a very small group to win all they can win at the expense of everyone else is a political decision.


Stealthychicken85 t1_j6do4xh wrote

>Deciding that the only option is for a very small group to win all they can win at the expense of everyone else is a political decision.

politics has nothing to do with these decisions, its just greed


Ameren t1_j6ft8d3 wrote

>politics has nothing to do with these decisions, its just greed

Deciding how society should be structured, how resources should be allocated, and what rights people have and the circumstances under which they have them (in this case property rights) is the whole purpose of politics as I understand it.

As an example, let's look at a classic American company like IBM. IBM employs around 281,000 people and has numerous institutional shareholders. Figuring out who owns what, what rights as stakeholders those 281,000 employees have, the processes by which decisions are made, etc. requires an enormous amount of legal machinery — without which the company simply could not exist. The framework in which IBM operates is set down in laws, the laws are put in place by elected officials, and those officials are elected by voters.

The same holds true for abuse of power by corporate elite. Corrupt, greedy behavior is often completely legal; they are simply using the powers granted to them under the law. Thus, the limits on that power are ultimately determined by voters (at least in theory). In a very literal sense u/ASuarezMascareno is right: greed is a political decision. You can't be greedy without the power to take what you want, and for corporations that power ultimately stems from the social contract.


Rofel_Wodring t1_j6hiv51 wrote

>politics has nothing to do with these decisions, its just greed

Enlightenment liberalism rots the brain. No root causes, no systemics, just vibes and presenting problems. What a childish ideology.


sysnickm t1_j6gui0r wrote

Except the consumer, the consumer does not win when we limit progress because new efficiencies mean we work less.


ASuarezMascareno t1_j6hh1j5 wrote

The product can also be cheaper at the same time. The main obstacle to make it cheaper are not working conditions but the demand for exaggerated corporate gains.

Also, the consumers are the workers. They are not a separate group.


gaudiocomplex t1_j6cqg7w wrote

Exactly. I have been trying to get people to understand it as a "majorly suppressive force" or "downward economic pressure." Especially for artists and writers, who often barely had jobs that could pay a living wage before all of this.


yurib123 t1_j6g384r wrote

You sound like you just graduated and think you finally made it. Sucks your job will be obsolete in 10 years.


km89 t1_j6glfvx wrote

>Your logic doesn’t even make sense tbh

I think the logic here is "you won't be able to buy an AI developer that can do everything a developer can do any time soon."

Which is true. And as OP said, it'll drastically reduce the number of developers... because the things it can do will ensure that every remaining developer can do several times the work they used to be able to.

Which is exactly what happened to farming. It only takes one farmer with a combine harvester to harvest the same amount of corn that would take many farmers with scythes.


drakens6 t1_j6cmaxc wrote

developers will just be actually making apps and tech instead of spending time with the minute conventions of manual codewriting, same thing has happened already with frameworks/libraries this is no different. Innovation is only going to speed up and greater things will be able to be accomplished with less effort. Thought workers are still going to be valued as they always have.


masterile OP t1_j6cmw3p wrote

Yes, but there will be less or more programmers?


DecentRole t1_j6e5lm9 wrote

From my POV, coding is the new literacy.

Being relatively ‘new’ it’s going through changes. Similar to how language and writing styles have change through the ages.

OpenAI/Chat GPT are frameworks/mediums that allow users to experiment with. Similar to when the print became mainstream, and even if you didn’t knew how to read you could get your hands in texts. How dirty you want your hands to get is up to the individual.

Overall I’m certain there will be more programmers. However, how we interact with computers -coding will likely change/evolve.


Anon_IE_Mouse t1_j6dx5j3 wrote

I honestly think there will be the same amount, but efficiencyand the number of stuff they can make per day will increase.


Cockerel_Chin t1_j6f9gkq wrote

This is a pretty good point.

I think about my last employer, a financial services provider who was hopelessly unable to improve their aging software because they simply couldn't get enough people to do it quickly enough.

Assuming AI will simply be able to act on requests, it could make this kind of inefficiency a thing of the past. But it will still need people to make the decisions.


Substantial_Space478 t1_j6ff0ev wrote

Basic programmer jobs, i.e. those who simply write code assigned to them, are expected to decrease by 10% over the next decade. Every other field of development is expected to have a job increases of 10% or more.


johnp299 t1_j6d5lgd wrote

"AI will not replace software developers, It will just drastically reduce the number of them."

So... AI will replace some software developers, maybe most.


Substantial_Space478 t1_j6ffgdw wrote

OP is wrong. AI will not replace software developers. A software developer's primary job is not rote programming but development and oversight. AI will most likely replace low level computer programmers who execute the plans that software developers create.


aminbae t1_j6hcr3z wrote

the majority of programming jobs are rote programming(but are still not rote enough to be automated)


Substantial_Space478 t1_j6iqc5q wrote

no, not fully automated. when an AI can generate the code of 10 or more programmers in a fraction of the time, and then a small team of programmers can edit it, that will lead to less programming jobs. this looks like the mostly likely implementation of code writing AI


abrandis t1_j6fhpll wrote

No the OP is NOT wrong, Software development like any other industry is becoming more and more commoditized.

When I started my work in the 90s almost any organization beyond mom and pop size had a development staff in house, over time it was either outsourced and now a days it's all cloud and SaaS , most large corporations for their common functions (HR,accounting, logistics) subscribe off the shelf/cloud products and maybe pay a few developers for some customizations, a lot less than hiring an in house team to build and maintain such a system. This will happen more and more into the future. Eventually AI will become good enough that a proper description of a customized app can be created ..

.for example I can envision a AI prompt like, "create me a complete accounting application for a mid-sized construction company that is government compliant " , and AI would stitch together all the relevant SaaS services into a working portal and/or mobile app. No programming knowledge needed.

Software development is like any other mature industry , abstraction + time means there's less need to focus on the minutia of bits and bytes and more on the desired outcomes.


Substantial_Space478 t1_j6fkzql wrote

so much more goes into development of an application than a few basic facts like that. every company has unique needs. construction is such a broad field and that limited description you gave would not result in a useful program for any company. a software developer is needed to communicate with the company and determine its needs (which the owners/managers will guaranteed not be able express in easy to understand terms). database and software modeling and development are complex abstract aspects that a code writing AI cannot reproduce

what you described is something that writes code, not something that develops software. just because you can "envision" it doesn't make it the reality of how things work


KYWizard t1_j6inmbn wrote

Right, but what you have done is cut out many many many hours of work. Those are people's jobs. Gone. Now a team will definitely polish it, but AI gives you a massive headstart without the need of paying pesky humans to do it.


abrandis t1_j6frwyy wrote

My general premise is less about AI code generation and more commoditization of Software, reality is most business problems already have software solutions, companies make use of those everyday, customization becomes less and less essential as time goes on..


sysnickm t1_j6gtop8 wrote

But not software solutions that meet every businesses specific needs.

Customization becomes more essential as different localities create new regulations.

When Europe passed GDPR, millions developers had to work with lawyers and others to update their code to follow the new laws.


kroopster t1_j6p82al wrote

If you think about this for a sec you know it won’t work like that. At best the ai is a new abstraction layer on top of dozens we have there between the developer and cpu already. But a new layer does not make the definition go away somehow magically. There are endless combinations to be defined in your accounting example and that won’t happen by a machine before singularity. And we are not there yet, not even close.

Coding of today is like writing definitions for an ai when you compare it to coding in the 80s. This is just a new step, new tool in the stack.


nutidizen t1_j6k7qan wrote

> . A software developer's primary job is not rote programming but development and oversight

And AI can't do that why exactly?


mbfunke t1_j6cexs7 wrote

Same for writers, lawyers, etc. Basically anything using language just entered its own industrial revolution. I assume Netflix will eventually be dumping ai generated programming on its stream and Sirius will do the same. This is not a good thing imho.


Flat_Ad_2507 t1_j6cscju wrote

psychologists psychiatric doctors engineers all kind of jobs. We are not neeeeeeedeeed


A1pH4W01v t1_j6csj0q wrote

Man what is with people wanting absolute dependency on AI.


Soggy_Ad7165 t1_j6d9flm wrote

This sub is filled with software engineering students that think because it solved their assignment chatgpt will conquer the world.

I was excited when I first tried out chatgpt. But after trying to incorparate it into my daily work it proved to be pretty limited. Its a better google. It has minimal impact. And just like Dall E only replaced some Fivr designers or "artists" who never got beyond minimum wage anyway, chatgpt will replace a tiny amount of "developers".

And in the end Jevons paradox comes into play additional. Scale up efficiency and you end up with more "resource" consumption. In this case the resource is a human programmer.


UltravioletClearance t1_j6dc3k7 wrote

A lot of people get swept up in marketing. OpenAI is yet another tech startup that leveraged venture capital to rapidly scale and market a "disruptive" technology into our lives with no plans to grow the company or product. I'm not worried about my job because I don't think OpenAI will even exist in a decade.

We see this trend time and time again, and it almost always results in the tech company going belly up and a return to the way things were. AirBnB killed hotels... now people are flocking back to hotels because AirBnB sucks. Uber/Lyft killed taxis... now people are flocking back to taxis and public transportation because Uber/Lyft sucks.


gefex t1_j6f73k4 wrote

I thought this, its basically an upgrade on Googling it on stackoverflow. You get a more tailored response. It will give you the pieces of a puzzle but you would always need a developer to put them together.

Its useful when you have a very specific thing you need to write that is easy enough to explain in english, but bigger picture stuff I can't see it ever being capable of dealing with.


Richard7666 t1_j6gunru wrote

I'm learning Unreal Engine. Wanted to know how to make parameterised material where I can offset the texture easily.

ChatGpt gave me a very convincing-sounding step by step, 7 point answer...that was entirely fictitious.


nembajaz t1_j6cxct2 wrote

Dependency? Good tool in good hands, is it really dependency?


A1pH4W01v t1_j6d0ytw wrote

Its 1 thing to have a tool that can save you time, money and effort on whatever youre doing

But it is a problem when people are wanting a future where everything is expected to be done for you while not even bothering to give a single thought into it.

From the work that youre supposed to do, to even the creative ideas youre supposed to imagine, and even down to the simple things like what to fucking eat, seems like so many people just want AI to do the thinking or immediately show the result.


nembajaz t1_j6d1ebs wrote

Your art will be your art. More time to live your life is always a good thing. There always will be problems and goals, it's just a dramatically different situation we don't know anything about. In fact, we tend to make more and more problems and goals as we "evolve".


A1pH4W01v t1_j6d2vby wrote

I mean we're already making a problem because of one problem, which is overdependency via ego.

More time to live our lives but with how people are acting now, many would rather be toxic while expecting as many good results with no effort. Not even the slightest effort.

Not to mention, problems and goals should always start with us, and end with us, thats how we evolve. Relying on someone or something else too much to create a solution for any problem will be a bad thing, especially when the need for creativity or even textbook knowledge comes up.


nembajaz t1_j6d3jw5 wrote

Makes sense. However, does AI necessarily have ego? And do we? Maybe that's the next big step for us to understand our true nature. Selection working on consciousness, maybe? Sounds like hopium, I see... :)


A1pH4W01v t1_j6d7xb4 wrote

"Ah but you see AI doesnt have ego" my brother in christ we're at a phase where people are calling themselves experts for typing a single sentence to an AI is what i mean.


nembajaz t1_j6d8fqh wrote

I asked you all: does it necessarily have an ego?

Not equal with your statement. Just a "what if".


A1pH4W01v t1_j6dntbo wrote

It doesnt have one now, but i'd never wanna know what happens if AI does gain an egotistical consciousness.

But in the end, im still talking about is the problem of human beings exploiting AI in order to gain a status that isnt earned.


nembajaz t1_j6drb4u wrote

Okay, finally, I understand. I don't think we're hopeless, but of course, it's a close call, smartest way is care, as always. Just trying to say: don't forget the "goal", or at least the hope, this is how the good way can gain some power. Yes, I'm from Marvel... :P


taralundrigan t1_j6d8gmw wrote

Imagine thinking AI is actually going to give people more time to live their life. What world are you living in? Since when has automation actually done anything to stop people from being wage slaves or prevented the insane amount of wealth inequality we are experiencing today?


nembajaz t1_j6d92gq wrote

"More time" doesn't equal "no classic human work here". If it starts to be a thing, some should learn to stay on roll somehow, that's true. Maybe true slaves will be those who "normally" can't live without destruction, nobody knows.


rogert2 t1_j6f6ppy wrote

You're mis-describing the situation.

Who is building AI? Giant tech companies, which are owned by extremely wealthy people. It is their wishes that matter, because they literally give the orders. "Whoever pays the piper calls the tune."

Giant tech companies spend a lot of their money paying for salaries and gig developers. They wish they could spend less money on those things, because then a much larger share of their revenue could be profit.

Teaching AI to write is an obvious step toward not having to pay humans.

Nobody said "I want to be dependent on AI." What they are saying, what they have been saying, shouting at the top of their lungs every single day for decades, is "I hate paying my employees, I hate having to pay them a fair wage, I hate having to pay for their benefits, I hate having to hire additional people to manage all the employees I hate paying, and I hate that wielding all my power requires me to persuade and negotiate with these humans instead of simply dictating."

They will not stop until they reach the ideal workforce size: 1 employee, who they can just give orders to, and then that employee does the "gruntwork" of wielding huge technology to accomplish the mission.


spoilingattack t1_j6h1vqq wrote

Whew. Take a breath dude. I think you are somewhat correct but you’d be better served by making a more modest argument. No tech giant will ever be down to 1 employee. I assume you mean that for dramatic effect.


dhaugh t1_j6el07q wrote

Demand for farmers has a natural limit proportional to population/food demand. Whereas there is no shortage of software development demand. From my (anecdotal) experience in engineering, we haven't even scratched the surface of problems that can be solved by software.

An increase in productivity will increase the avenues for profitable software development before decreases the job count.


MakingItElsewhere t1_j6ch7gr wrote

This is it.

This is the post that is so stupid I'm blocking this entire sub from my home list.


Frosty-Industry-970 t1_j6chwvt wrote

Couldn’t have said it better. People with 0 understanding of AI talking about AI gives me a headache.


masterile OP t1_j6cjrke wrote

I have a pretty good understanding of AI. I have a formal training on the subject. So, please. Why it gives you headaches? I want specifics, not name calling or dismissal without arguments.


taralundrigan t1_j6d8n75 wrote

How can you block subs? I've been trying to figure this out.


scpDZA t1_j6dirn2 wrote

Three horizontal dots iirc, it's the mute option


masterile OP t1_j6chchu wrote

I am curious. Why is so stupid?


Shopped_For_Pleasure t1_j6cmfpz wrote

Because “reducing the need for software devs” literally means replacing them. Sure you’ll have a few remaining, but not a sizable amount.


masterile OP t1_j6cpknd wrote

Thanks, but I do not agree with you disagreeing, :). For your response, I think that you are actually in agreement with me, and with the spirit of my post. Nonetheless, I honestly appreciate the constructive conversation.


khamelean t1_j6cfrpo wrote

Much more likely that the need for software engineers will continue to grow and they will just become significantly more productive.


ItsAConspiracy t1_j6cv26j wrote

Yep. Software developers have been automating their own work for the past seventy years. According to one study I saw, their productivity has doubled every seven years.

This has not reduced demand for software developers. It's just made their contributions more and more valuable.


masterile OP t1_j6cg9q1 wrote

I agree that with the improvement of the technology you can do more and better stuff. But I think that you missed the point that the fundamental human capabilities are fixed to our biology and AI is only starting to make a dent on its increasing powers. Until, in the not too far future, all human cognitive capabilities will have been surpassed by AI. In this moment the game will be over.


khamelean t1_j6cgml8 wrote

You’re assuming that we can’t use AI to enhance our own biological capabilities…


BigZaddyZ3 t1_j6cgtx4 wrote

But as one person’s capabilities increase, that actually reduces the need for other people in the same way an AI would. So either way, this idea that we’re all just gonna make a living as coders is unrealistic.


khamelean t1_j6chkcm wrote

You’re only thinking about changes in supply. But the demand for applications of new technologies is almost infinite.

Of course at some point productivity becomes so high the idea of “working for a living” becomes unnecessary.


kushal1509 t1_j6clk57 wrote

Agreed, the more efficient we get the richer we become. AI will make society wealthier which will create demand for new products and services.


BigZaddyZ3 t1_j6chpr2 wrote

But as one entity becomes capable of more, that actually reduces the demand for other entities.

And the idea that demand for coding is infinite is just an unrealistic assumption.


khamelean t1_j6ciqxm wrote

No, increasing supply does not reduce demand.

I didn’t say infinite, I said almost infinite. Historically speaking the demand for new technology has only increased as new technologies become available. Obviously that can go on forever, but we are definitely several thousand years away from meeting demand.


BigZaddyZ3 t1_j6cj7hs wrote

If one person suddenly becomes capable of doing the same amount of work as 10 people, then it becomes only logical to only pay the one person to do the 10 jobs. Instead of paying 10 people to do one job. (Which would be way more expensive.) If one person’s capabilities increase, it does reduce the need (aka demand) for other employees. That’s just basic economics.


Memfy t1_j6cv352 wrote

For that specific position, yes. The world is in overall shortage of supply for such workers, and the overall demand is just increasing each year. So even if you replace 10 people with 1 person, those 10 people might still have other projects they could be working on unless you can mass produce the 10x worker and cover all the areas of expertise you need with such workers.


czk_21 t1_j6fq3od wrote

there is no guarantee there will be enough need for new applications, there wont be new tech every day and if that day comes AI will be the one leading advancement(and development)

if demand was "almost infinite" then every software developer would be multimillionaire nowadays


khamelean t1_j6frpvs wrote

No, demand is relative to cost. There are many things that people want, but it’s just to expensive to do, and not worth the cost.

As software tooling becomes more powerful, things that used to be expensive become cheaper and the cost/value proposition changes. That’s why new technological advancement constantly unlocks new demand.


czk_21 t1_j6j7kkg wrote

I guess there will be more demand but I disagree that demand is infinite or almost infinite, there is finite amount of humans and companies and these have finite demand as well

imgien for example there is software company making antivirus software, its enough if there are several companies like that, ppl dont need 1000s different antivir software several decent one is enough, there wont be really much bigger demand for more

when 1 programmer will be needed to do work of 10, that antivir company wont need the rest, yes they can speed up the work and improvement by keeping 1 or 2 aditional ppl- that would already mean company is about 20x more productive, there is only so much work that should or could be done on your product in small timeframe

some of those who will not be needed in their companies could go to some other projects, but their amount will be finite as well


masterile OP t1_j6ch8gj wrote

From an economical stand point you will not have any incentive to enhance human obsolete capabilities. You would rather invest in enhancing AI-based more advanced and productive capabilities.


nameTotallyUnique t1_j6chrbd wrote

Would you not buy a product that enhance your capabilities?


masterile OP t1_j6cikvt wrote

Yes, the same way people invest in playing better at chest. But if any professional player wants to find the best move will use a chess program.


khamelean t1_j6chrgt wrote

That’s making some pretty big assumption with absolutely no basis.


masterile OP t1_j6ciepk wrote

I was assuming for the sake of argument that human capabilities have been surpassed. I think the rest follows based in economic incentives.


khamelean t1_j6civce wrote

Economics incentives are a human concern. Once humans capabilities are surpassed, all the rules we know about economics go out the window.


masterile OP t1_j6cj1pv wrote

Nobody is going to hire a programmer to do a job a machine does in no time for virtually no cost.


gaudiocomplex t1_j6cs9pl wrote

The idea that more jobs are coming out of this is beyond absurd.


ASuarezMascareno t1_j6ct5r9 wrote

What you describe is exactly replacing the workers. When people say "AI will replace X" they don't mean there won't be X ever again, but that the numbers will shrink significantly.


MpVpRb t1_j6ezb89 wrote

AI will give us more powerful tools to manage software complexity, find bugs, identify edge cases and find unintended dependencies. It will also result in the creation of new programming languages. And no, clueless people will not be able to type in a poorly thought out text prompt and get great software. Design of complex systems is still complex and difficult


NoIncrease299 t1_j6gy7b4 wrote

>And no, clueless people will not be able to type in a poorly thought out text prompt and get great software. Design of complex systems is still complex and difficult

Because people who aren't in the business or have only the most basic understanding of it hear "software developer" and think "someone who builds web sites."

The FUD around all this is pretty nuts.


Vjcixuxuxuxuxu t1_j6g4zdy wrote

>AI will give us more powerful tools to manage software complexity, find bugs, identify edge cases and find unintended dependencies.

I can't wait for that to happen.


QristopherQuixote t1_j6f2wh0 wrote

We have about 30% of the qualified engineers we need in the industry. My hope is AI forces out the fakers and wannabes and allows companies that need custom software to more readily roll their own.


pithecium t1_j6cjni4 wrote

Or it will mean the same number of software developers can write a lot more software.

The demand for food is relatively fixed (inelastic), so more productivity leads for the most part to fewer farmers rather than more food. That hasn't been the case for software with past productivity improvements.


masterile OP t1_j6ckpyf wrote

I think this is the best argument against my thesis. But It could be the case that increasing software demand will be absorbed by increasing AI capabilities. Until the point AI surpasses all human capabilities needed for software development.


nembajaz t1_j6cyj5w wrote

We'll always do our favourite toys, I mean, if we're alive.


JerrodDRagon t1_j6gahup wrote

Someone brought up a great point

If you lay off even 20ish percent of people La jobs quickly that will affect the entire economy

Like less condition jobs if the coders can’t fund work and there for can’t work on their house

The snowball effect is what’s really scary


rileyoneill t1_j6gw6c1 wrote

Anything fast moving is disruptive. Even if its for the better. Its like an ecosystem where a fast change in one thing disrupts an entire wave of something else. Labor markets fall into an equilibrium over time. Especially for a small town where changes more than 1-2% per year are pretty massive.

We are in an era of very fast disruption, and its going to get extremely fast over the next several years. That whole equilibrium will be constantly thrown off balance and could make some major swings.

COVID will not be the most disruptive aspect of the 2020s and people of the future will largely remember the 2020s for other disruptive technology. We who endured COVID will have it burned into our memories, but like, kids being born today will probably be fairly dismissive of it when they are adults. They will likely remember other things.


just-a-dreamer- t1_j6clkpu wrote

AI is superior to any human in manual and cognotive abilities, it will replace any job, including IT, eventually.

Wether it takes 10,20,50 or even 100 years doesn't really matter. Human brains, even the smartest ones are limited and evolve slowly. Our brains didn't change for +100.000 years.

AI is only limited to the quality and numbers of computers in network. It doesn't need to sleep or take anything outside of work into consideration.

AI development is a race no human can catch up with. No matter how much of a genius you are, you can't progress at the same pace, it is impossible for reasons of biology.


r2k-in-the-vortex t1_j6cnvbx wrote

Yeah but... can you imagine how much software development is yet to be done before we get to this sort of general AI? We don't even really know what the core challenges are because we don't really understand how even our own intelligence works, not well enough to replicate. AI is very much limited, by our ability to create it.


just-a-dreamer- t1_j6coqnf wrote

AI does not have to be near perfect to replace a human. It is good enough if it can accomplish just 10%-30% of what one human can do

Humans work to live, to sleep, eat, socialize, do vacations, spend time with family or dogs. An AI does not.

While humans spend decades to develop a knowledge base that is outdates fast, any knowledge an AI gains is scored forever and won't be lost.

Humans grow old and tired, break down mentally and physicly. AI does not. My own sister in law is a teacher with a health problem, in the afternoon she breaks down tired and must sleep for hours. She is limited in her job. An AI would not be.


r2k-in-the-vortex t1_j6cmbjr wrote

AI will not replace devs or reduce numbers, but simply boost productivity. Coding is not farming, there is finite demand for food, only so much people can eat. Software development though, that is a boundless task that never ends, you never sit down and say that you are done, there is nothing more left to do. Every time you get any task done it opens up several new tasks that you should be doing, but simply will never have time for.

Automating our own work as software developers is what we have been doing ever since first computers were built. Do a task once in a way that nobody ever has to do it again is the core ethos of software development. And yet, there is infinite amount of labor yet to be done.


Doyouevengeek t1_j6e4rn2 wrote

You're assuming that businesses don't have a cap on other activities related outside of coding, such as product, planning, marketing, sales etc. The pace will be defined by the business and the need for the amount of developers to maintain the AI based delivery pipeline. So pure dev code monkeys that exist today will be reduced significantly. Others like SMEs will still be in demand.


r2k-in-the-vortex t1_j6e8jje wrote

Software plays a very big role in all those other activities too. Even a company with no in house software development uses software and pays for it's development, the coding simply happens somewhere else.

As long as value added by software development pays for the devs wages, companies will keep paying for developers to work.

The upper bound of it is only that everything is automated by software. But that is an utopia where it makes no more sense to talk about jobs anyway. Not in the same sense as what jobs are today at least.


echohole5 t1_j6cpt9i wrote

Yes, I suspect you are exactly right. This is how it will play out with many jobs. AI doesn't automate jobs, it automates some tasks within jobs.

Javon's paradox implies that, as long as humans are better that AI at something, the market will find a way to use that resource, but at a lowered price.

Man, this is really going to fuck up most of our lives for a while. I'm excited, scared, hopeful and sad when I think about this. It's a weird combination of emotions.


Overdrivespaceman t1_j6ctr9i wrote

I don't think so, software development is the automation of stuff, it doesn't matter if we do it using code or ai, more automation is always better, so until automation serves no purpose because everything that can be automated is, I don't see developers going away, their tools and processes will change but we need to automate more stuff, look how many things are still manual that could be automatic.


taralundrigan t1_j6d91tn wrote

What we have done with our industrial farming industries has literally played a massive roll in completely destabilizing the climate but let's not focus on that. Because of automation there are less farmers now. YAY!

Let's completely ignore the insanely long list of problems with how we grow our food and focus on this one insignificant thing that's only positive was the corporations that pay the farmers don't have to pay as many people now. YAY!

This sub is ridiculous.


cg_krab t1_j6drwim wrote

How will it reduce the number? Oh right by replacing them


implicatureSquanch t1_j6e2zvc wrote

As technology has advanced and increased leverage for workers, ie, fewer workers or reduced effort needed for equal to more output, social and market demands have increased. When email was a new technology, the general prediction was that it was going to reduce the amount of hours applied toward dealing with paper mail. While technically true about paper mail per se, it didn't reduce time spent on mail more broadly. People are expected to respond to more mail (email) in a quicker turn around time. Some of that work has moved to synchronous communications such as chat clients like Slack. But overall, the amount of communication, responses, and expectations for keeping up with those messages has increased.

If something can be automated, it'll probably be a mixed bag of reduced demand from a human, but it's not a leap to think that some of that work will shift to other responsibilities and/ or new demands for work will arise that rests on that new automation. When telephone operators were a big thing, that specific role did get automated. But how large are the telecommunications industry and related technologies? Some of the largest on the planet. Think of all the workers connected to that.

Going back to programming, we'll probably see something similar


socialkaosx t1_j6e60jm wrote

I don't know if we will ever need software in the form of dozens of applications.
Instead of looking/using apps you will be using ai.


peter303_ t1_j6e7av4 wrote

Answer: They have been saying this for 60 years with every development if software engineering. Assemblers and compilers are an early form of A.I. called expert systems.

The number of programmers per CPU has been steadily declining over the decades. In mainframe days you had dozens of programers per mainframe. By the early PC days and the invention of retail software it declined to less than one programmer per computer. Now will trillions of CPUs in every king of appliance and huge server farms, there are many thousands ofCPUs per programmer.


sosaudio t1_j6ek6b0 wrote

I think it’ll just be another tool to leverage technology. There will always be creative and capable minds driving it, but having the ability to feed larger chunks of information to derive a result will be a force multiplier.


DNA1987 t1_j6f47yb wrote

You can't completely make the comparison with farmer. There is limit of land that can be farm and there is a certain amount of food need to feed humans and animals.

Software dont have such limitation, anybody could be making software as long as there are users for it. I thing Ai will help developer to be more efficient in the short term, middle term Ai will help regular fox to make software with no code solution, long term if we get AGI then it is game over for SWE but every other job we know too


SoylentRox t1_j6f6fpv wrote

So the problem with your analogy is this.

Farming has 2 natural limits:

(1) once you grow enough food to feed everyone plus excess to overcome waste, no more food is needed.

(2) there is only so much land available that is suitable for farming - once you cultivate enough of it, no more farming is needed per year

Coding...well...dude. I bet someone wants factories on the Moon, O'neil habitats, biotech plants that make replacement organs, AI doctors that keep people alive no matter what goes wrong, and catgirl sex robots.

Do you have ANY IDEA how much more complex the software to make the above possible will be? Just try to imagine how many more systems are involved to accomplish each thing. If software engineers and computer engineers have to do even a tiny fraction of the work, they are all going to be busy for centuries.


daftmonkey t1_j6farba wrote

Maybe. Or maybe it’ll just allow companies to add more features to their products


YourWiseOldFriend t1_j6fax0w wrote

I want a software developer to make about the same as a burger flipper.

Minimum wage for everyone!


redmouse9 t1_j6fbyhf wrote

One difference between farming and programming is the amount of appetite. With programming there will always be an appetite for more inticrate and advanced proams. With farming though the limit is on calories needed by people and livestock.

I expect programming will not be reduced considerably until it hits the limits of hardware and imagination.


Galactus_Jones762 t1_j6ff6sm wrote

AI will lower headcount of the employed. Drastically. It’s amazing how many ways people have devised to talk around this. Yes, it probably won’t replace ALL people who work in X right away. It may even augment people and make them more productive. But in the mid-term totality of its effect, we will not have 3 billion employed people. Jobs will become incredibly rare which means we have to produce basic living goods and services and distribute them for free. Full stop. The end. With a cherry on top because this should be seen as a good thing but it isn’t, because people are terrified of breaking the no-free-lunch rule. It shatters their reality and they can’t tell up from down and they collapse into madness and ego-death.


Thebadmamajama t1_j6ff9ok wrote

This is wrong imo. An enormous number of companies can't make software to compete with big tech. Software engineers who are more efficient could feasibly be hired across small, medium sized businesses, and throw in nonprofits and government too. They all struggle to deliver services as good as big tech.

This will dramatically reduce the number of them in big tech companies, but unleash many more across an economy who views software as magic and too expensive.


Skylarkess t1_j6ffysg wrote

Operators are not longer a job. How do we get along without them?


FrostyBook t1_j6fglpb wrote

lol no. No AI is going to be able to figure out the business rules I get


Vjcixuxuxuxuxu t1_j6g4o4t wrote

I can't wait until we don't have to deal with yaml config files anymore or having AI check requirements or configurations. Something like ChatGPT would also be good for a lot of documentation and design docs. I can imagine writing and checking test cases would help.

There is definitely a lot of repetitive stuff that can't be automated. Us techies have automated a lot of people out of their jobs so we shouldn't be surprised that our job will change too.


Jnoper t1_j6gj4ks wrote

I’m a software developer. I’m not afraid of ai taking my job. I’ve seen what it can do. It’s helpful but it can’t do anything that can’t also be achieved with a few min on google. When it does get better and starts replacing programming jobs, literally all jobs except top engineering or arts jobs will be replaced at the same time. Some form of universal basic income will be created or we will all live in poverty. I hope for the first but we live in a world of greedy idiots so who knows.


QuantumButtz t1_j6gtuy0 wrote

Mind blown. I never thought about the effect of efficiency increase on labor force but now that you spoon fed it to me and made the airplane noise I get it.


Prestigious-Stick302 t1_j6h0al3 wrote

It will give them more time to do other things just like a calculator and spreadsheets didn't get rid of accountants. It enabled them to be more productive.


cosmernaut420 t1_j6h89pm wrote

So nobody sees the downside of living in a society that's having technology streamline literally every industry to the tune of phasing out a ton of human workers and still expecting every human being to only have worth if they work a job? Just me? OK then.


masterile OP t1_j6hkram wrote

Totally agree. We have gradually move through a new economic system and culture.


lujimerton t1_j6hq9g4 wrote

Farmers isn’t a great comparison. I would say telegraphers would be more fair (unfortunately).

Back in the 1800s a 14 or 16 year old kid could learn telegraphy and get a relatively cushy high paying job with the railroad.

ChatGPT is just the beginning and I doubt anyone has an accurate picture of how disruptive AI will be.


KYWizard t1_j6io85e wrote

People talking about the limits of current AI, is kind of like a wagon maker talking about the failings of the first steam powered cars. They were right, till they weren't.


meshydra t1_j6ckh0l wrote

Basically farmers jobs got easier, and farmers had to adapt to the new technology. Even software engineers will have to do the same.


slackmaster2k t1_j6cn4c6 wrote

They didn’t just get “easier.” Certain farming and ranching activities can be done with severely fewer people. That is, where migrant or illegal labor isn’t available.

A lot of lower level development activities produce little to no (customer) value. Many lower skilled jobs will disappear. The best developers will survive. Perhaps new economies will emerge.


28nov2022 t1_j6cvpzc wrote

It will reduce menial jobs that any any programmers can do and that was generally a waste of their time to code manually.

> worldwide cost companies billions of dollars in programmers salaries, much more efficiently.

It reduces cost-to-market, so enterprises can have more money remaining to re-invest into other projects.

>can’t remove the human being out of the loop

Right, i don't see AI still for a long time in very niche applications such as writing scripts for Skyrim mods


RoboSt1960 t1_j6cyico wrote

But it’s not just programmers who are threatened. Architects, engineers, business analysts, data analysts, copy writers, insurance and loan underwriters.

And what happens when even 20% of jobs go away permanently? Who replaces that lost income in the economy? Who buys tv’s, phones, apps, games and Big Macs?

While there might be some short sighted companies who like the prospect of reducing the staff to bare bones, I don’t see the likes of Apple wanting their brand new campus to sit empty again. Or their profits to nose dive because no body can afford to buy their product.


Wollff t1_j6d2k6h wrote

>But nonetheless, they think they have a clear shot to make programming a non labor intensive activity like farming is today.

Here lies the difference between agriculture and software.

Agriculture is there for the sole reason of "feeding people". The demand is capped. Once you have successfully "fed everyone", all the rest of agriculture is luxury.

On the other hand, what I see on the "demand side" of software, is a truly bottomless hole. After the current version of the software, there is a need for the next version of the software, with new and more and better features... Either you do it first. Or your competitor will.

It doesn't ever end.

When you can write double the code in half the time? I suspect that the result will not be: "We will write the same number of lines, and hire fewer people", but: "There shall be four times the amount of code written, beating everyone else to release!"

After all, even currently you always have the choice: Do you finish your software with half the people, in double the time? Or does it pay to hire someone, in order to get out more features, faster, better?

As I understand it, most software development is not "a single person, working long", but "many people working fast". So I see AI as shifting the balance toward "equally as many people, working all that much faster"


rogert2 t1_j6faloe wrote

The argument against this logic is that most companies who employ developers are not in the business of making an arbitrarily large number of software products. Many companies have just one product (or service), which is often tied to a non-software product or service, e.g. banks, schools, hairdressers, etc. So, their development needs are very finite.

Yes, society as a whole has a much larger appetite for software, but society-as-a-whole doesn't hire developers: specific firms hire them, and they hire them to work on specific projects that theoretically have "finish lines" which could potentially be reached in the near term if the development they can afford were more productive -- which is what AI threatens to do.

And these firms only form around activities that they think can support a profit stream. But many of society's software needs might not lend themselves to harvesting a profit, for the obvious reason that many areas of human life are not mediated by financial transactions. And yes, AI devbots will probably make it easier to fill unprofitable gaps, but the reason people are concerned about AI coming for dev jobs is that people need jobs to pay for shelter and food. So, society's bottomless appetite for software is not going to salvage this situation.


Nohface t1_j6d9rp0 wrote

Well that’s Kind of the same thing isn’t it for those that will have been… replaced.

What you’re saying is that “programming” will still exist.


7ECA t1_j6dfigf wrote

This is obviously true. In every generation of technological advancement most but not all jobs disappeared. The most difficult or obscure roles are preserved but the roles for the masses go away. AI is replacing roles in (para)legal, will replace roles in medicine, many roles in tech and many/most other industries. But not all. OTOH if you're not at the top of the food pyramid in each of these areas you'll have no role.

I remember when RPA (Robotic Process Automation) rolled out it was clear that many jobs would (and were) replaced by machines, long before more recent AI advancements

And it's folly to think that the plan of the OpenAI people was to get cheap coding labor. That's a byproduct, not the plan


Tastoe t1_j6dm488 wrote

Drastically reduce is a misnomer in the context of farmers. What's replaced is the labour intensive part of farming. The decision making activities at the top of the pyramid remains.

Same goes for software, from the inception of the IT industry, automation is the name of the game. We moved from automating number crunching, record keeping to more value added activities and the pace is quickening.

On the other hand, there's more opportunities for applying IT opening up every day. Also the systems become mind bogglinly complex, you need more cognitive inputs to maintain.

IT would become another technical capability for other human activities, just like medicine, electricity, machines... and pushed to the relam of "techie" in the years to come. In fact it's already happening.


crosiss76 t1_j6ko5ar wrote

So it will replace some just not all ok but it still replaces them.


esotericenema t1_j6d6d2r wrote

Dune. Holy freakin' smokes. Dune! Best case scenario, we are forcing Dune to become reality. Who had THAT on their dystopian future bingo card?


soupsyy_3 t1_j6df9c1 wrote

Finally found a Dune reference in these AI threads haha. If Butlerian Jihad really happens, it will be epic.


nosmelc t1_j6dokij wrote

Moving from assembly to compiled languages to managed languages didn't reduce the number of software developers needed even though it made them more productive. Using AI won't be much different.