In his book, The Future of Professions, released earlier this year, Richard Susskind shares, "There is a new generation of machines in action now, and these are systems that can replace parts of, and sometimes all of, certain kinds of professional work." Although some people fear this shift in the professional landscape, they have little reason to be concerned. In fact, this change could potentially be a positive one for professionals.
For those of us who write, technology that uses artificial intelligence to edit is often a godsend. It hasn't replaced our creative process or our professional value; rather, it's enhanced our ability to create without having to worry about the more basic aspects of our work. The same thing goes for anyone in finance. Automated systems have made it possible for day traders to focus on market statistics rather than conducting the actual trades themselves.
Continuous Delivery, a growing development in AI and machine learning, is poised to speed up innovation in this space. Software developers understand how important AI is for improving the quality of work, which is why they've turned it on their own profession. Continuous Delivery is a process that uses preset lines of code to carry out programming tasks, leaving more time for developers to focus on higher-skilled tasks. Essentially, the process functions by using high-powered servers to simplify and systematize basic programming tasks.
So why does Continuous Delivery matter? Anyone who runs a business that involves testing new programs understands that development not only takes time but that it also involves a lot of mistakes that could be potentially costly. Most consumers are familiar with downloading an app or a new update only to find it riddled with bugs or glitches, something that can often cause disillusionment and dissatisfaction with a product. Business owners often can't afford those kinds of mistakes. Continuous Delivery helps resolve some of these issues by creating programs that operate out of preset parameters and can monitor their own performance.
Susskind explains why automation is replacing certain human programming functions may be a very good thing. "To put this more concretely, we argue that professional work should be decomposed, that is, broken down into its constituent 'tasks'." Put differently, by selecting the tasks that machines can accomplish, humans are freed up to do more important, or frankly, more enjoyable ones. Human minds remain more powerful than computers, and even though Moor's Law may predict a change in that arena, for the time being, people can accomplish more when it comes to computation. By automating tasks that require less brainpower, businesses can free up their top intellectual assets to think of new ideas.
He's not alone in his thinking, either. Many other futurists have theorized that software like this has the potential to replace certain professional functions. What they don't spend as much time emphasizing is that, by allowing people to focus on higher-level tasks, they may be able to spend more time thinking of ways they can contribute value in an increasingly automated world.
For business leaders, this means that the processes involved with updating software can be effectively automated, thus preventing any errors upon release. By freeing up the time of developers to focus on programs requiring higher-skilled tasks, the opportunities for higher-quality products emerge. Teams that leverage Continuous Delivery can continue to develop innovating apps and programs that solve problems either for the business or the consumer.
In industries that rely heavily on effective programming—such as Big Data, IoT, fintech, and so forth—this method is ideal. By speeding up both the creation and maintenance of programs, businesses can roll out products at a faster rate with reduced incidences of program failure.
Developers are at the forefront of technological innovation. Every day, software developers and programmers create solutions that make life and work easier for everyone. The fact that those professionals are investing in a development that replaces certain aspects of their work is a use case for how important this technology is. As technology continues to make our lives better, business leaders should consider how developments such as continuous delivery and artificial intelligence functions can help them reach new customers faster, and with greater success.
About the Author
Drew Hendricks is a tech, social media, and environmental addict. He's written for many major publications, such as Forbes and Entrepreneur.
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