Nearly a third of software developers feel that artificial intelligence will eventually take their jobs, according to a new survey from Evans Data Corp.
Some 29.1 percent of the 550 respondents said they feared A.I. would replace their “development efforts.” That eclipsed developers’ other fears, including the eventual obsolescence of their targeted platforms (23 percent) or that their latest platform won’t see widespread adoption (14 percent).
“Another dimension to this finding is that over three-quarters of the developers thought that robots and artificial intelligence would be a great benefit to mankind, but a little over 60 [percent] thought it could be a disaster,” Janel Garvin, CEO of Evans Data, wrote in a statement accompanying the data. “Overlap between two groups was clear which shows the ambivalence that developers feel about the dawn of intelligent machines. There will be wonderful benefits, but there will also be some cataclysmic changes culturally and economically.”
In January, a report released in conjunction with the World Economic Forum in Switzerland suggested that machine learning, robotics, 3D printing, genetics, and other cutting-edge technologies would lead to the loss of roughly 5 million jobs within the next five years.
While industries such as heavy manufacturing have already seen job losses due to automation, tech professions such as datacenter administration have also been impacted by software.
But not everybody feels that A.I. will prove a job-killer. “This is not about replacing people,” CEO Virginia Rometty told an audience at the Gartner Symposium late last year. “It’s about augmenting what man does.”
If you believe that the survey from Evans Data is representative of the software-development industry as a whole, though, it’s clear that a substantial portion of developers are worried about what the future might bring.