How will AI effect the life of programmers? Survey

What do IT professionals think about artificial intelligence, and how will it change our lives? The question is intriguing, as programmers are the ones writing AI as well.


An IT specifiy job portal called  ITpeople conducted a survey among IT professionals about their thoughts on artificial intelligence and how they believe it will change our lives. The question is intriguing, as programmers (along with mathematicians, data scientists, linguists, etc.) are the ones writing the self-learning algorithms that form the backbone of artificial intelligence, and they are also among the most frequent users of AI in their work.

ITpeople provided us with the raw data of the survey, allowing us to draw our own conclusions based on the results.

One of the questions reveals which AI programs IT professionals and developers use. Surprisingly, a significant number, 46%, regularly use ChatGPT! This indicates that ChatGPT has achieved unprecedented success among IT professionals. Although the survey doesn’t specify, based on professional Facebook groups, many developers use it for educational purposes because ChatGPT explains things very well—at least in English. It’s also a useful tool if we need to do a smaller task in a programming language we’re not familiar with and don’t want to spend 30 hours watching Indian YouTube videos for it.

In addition to ChatGPT, IT professionals have also tried (in the order of popularity) the Bing search engine with AI support, and the DALL-E image generation program created by OpenAI, which can create graphics based on textual instructions. Following, these are another image-generating AI, Midjourney, and the coding assistant Copilot, which hasn’t gained much popularity yet—only 3.5% of the participants have tried it. Finally, a few IT professionals mentioned trying or using Bard, Leonardo, Stable diffusion, Firefly, and DeepL.

IT professionals have different concerns about the dangers of AI.

According to the survey, a significant minority of IT professionals, one in five respondents, is not concerned about AI. They do not consider it dangerous to humanity and are not interested in regulating its development (or are explicitly against regulation).

Other IT professionals are either not interested in the topic (5.5%) or hold the opinion that AI is just a tool, and its usefulness depends on how it is programmed (12.5%).

However, the majority sees the spread of artificial intelligence as dangerous, not only among the ‘average people’ but also among IT professionals:

In total, 60% are afraid that AI could be used for terrible things in the wrong hands, and many are concerned about the expected mass unemployment. This 60% does not believe that AI could become self-aware and turn against us, but another 5% think that anything is possible.

According to this majority, international regulation is needed to control AI developments. Few believe in self-regulation and national control. Respondents believe that regulation and oversight should be carried out by some existing international organization (23%) or by a new organization created for this purpose, consisting of professionals rather than politicians (46.5%).

It is noteworthy that, for now, only the self-regulatory systems of IT giants (Microsoft, Google, Meta) seem to be on the horizon as possible solutions, but this clearly has not convinced almost anyone beyond themselves.

How does the AI revolution affect IT professionals themselves?

While IT professionals have serious doubts about the general impact of AI on humanity, they are not particularly worried about their own profession. In fact, based on the answers to one of the survey questions, they see IT (chosen by 37.5%) as the main field that AI can revolutionize in a positive sense. The idea in the minds of these IT professionals is likely that monotonous, creativity-lacking coding and testing can increasingly be outsourced to ChatGPT or its successor. Thus, it would significantly increase the efficiency of programmers and making their work even more enjoyable.

Will it lead to the loss of many programming jobs? According to the programmers, it won’t.

Responding to one of the survey questions, it turns out that only 8% of participants think that AI involvement in programming will lead to layoffs. In contrast, journalists (according to 38%) and marketers (according to 26%) may face massive layoffs in the near future.

Answers to another question also paint the same picture. Two-thirds of IT professionals participating in the survey believe that the spread of AI poses little or no danger to their work, and interestingly, almost no one chose the option that artificial intelligence would take away their jobs. The reason for this may be that since they work with it the most, developers and programmers are the ones who know best what OpenAI is capable of and what it is not.


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