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GitHub Copilot: Will artificial intelligence put us out of job?

2 de July de 2021

I’m sure you’ve seen the announcement for Copilot, the new Github product that uses Artificial Intelligence to suggest code to you. At the time it was announced, tweets began to be published that this would end up putting us programmers out of work.

Is this true? 🤔

Could it be that an AI like Copilot ends up causing many programmers to be fired? 🤔

From Dotnetsafer we are going to tell you about what Copilot offers and why we really do not have to fear this new trend, but we have to embrace it.

First of all, I will summarize in a minute whatGitHub Copilot is, just in case you don’t know what I’m talking about. Basically a few days agoGitHub announced a new product, specifically a Visual Studio Code extension. This extension uses Artificial Intelligence models like GPT-3 to give a request, such as 👇

I want a function that checks if a number is odd or even, generate the function itself.


Copilot will autocomplete the code for you

To train this model, GitHub has basically used the public code that is on GitHub and examples from Stackoverflow. There is an open discussion about authoring and licensing issues, as in the end other people’s code has been used to train this AI. Although this is not the objective of this article, I honestly think that it is an interesting topic.

Apparently, there are programmers who are afraid of losing their jobs in the long term if things continue this way. If there is already an Artificial Intelligence that is capable of generating code when you give it some simple instructions…

Why should a company pay a developer to do the exact same thing? 🤔

And in our opinion, this is the first error

Consider that we are simply people who “make” code, although it is true that writing code is part of a developer’s job, a fairly large and essential part, it is nothing more than the method in which we apply our solutions. Our real job is not to write a function that computes the factorial of a number, but to know that we must compute the factorial to solve the problem we have.

When we use an npm package, a package full of functions, it allows you not to have to write them yourself.

Don’t you think you’re going to lose your job because that exists? 🤔

I think it is something very similar. I see Copilot as a tool that will facilitate those moments in which you are looking on Stackoverflow for anything that you do not remember.

Now instead of asking Google and copying the answer that you find, you will ask Copilot and you will be left with the code that you think is prettier or that fits better with your solution. It is a tool that, to my liking, will speed up the way we program and therefore, it is better to learn how to use it correctly.

Our job will remain the same, to solve problems and this AI will help us to solve them faster, to be more productive and therefore more valuable. 🤗

I think that this can also be an opportunity to focus more on important concepts such as the architecture of our software and to generate a good base, so that the implementation of certain parts of the logic can be relegated to tools like this.

Another point to take into account is the role that the code reviews will have with all this, as I have been seeing, Copilot has limited information about the context of our application, so the parameters of the function, their names and the return format will have to be checked by someone. I see hundreds of pull requests with Copilot code as is, sent, there to the repository, full of Warnings, full of Errors.

With all this, I want to give a message of tranquility to those who are learning programming and that can give you the feeling that this is a risk for you. I think it is a very great opportunity, since it is a tool with a lot of potential even to learn. ✅

Do you have doubts about how to implement a mathematical function? 🤔

You ask Copilot and see what he says.

Sometimes I think this will be faster than looking at Stackoverflow and you will also have it as is within your IDE, from your editor.


Could this cause less supply from developers? 🤔

It’s possible 😌

Developers are one of the most expensive resources that a company has, therefore, it is very likely that many companies end up looking for people who know how to take advantage of these AI tools. Since, as promised, they will be able to generate more value, therefore, what can happen is that we will see a change in what it is to be a developer in the coming years.

Little by little it will be less “making” code and more thinking about how things should work. In addition, we all know that the only people who can use this in a decent way are going to be people with certain technical knowledge, either to validate that the generated code is correct or to know how to ask the AI ​​for things.

Let’s be honest…

Can you imagine someone in business asking an Artificial Intelligence how they want their product? 🤔

Joking aside, I hope this article has given you a bit of context on our take on code generator tools. I repeat that this is my opinion and you can not share it. I would love to see a discussion in the comments on this topic. 🤗