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Software engineers are panicking about being replaced by AI

Businessman with rocket strapped to back falling from sky - stock illustrationSoftware engineers are taking to networking site Blind to express their anxieties around AI.

Malte Mueller/Getty Images

  • Tech workers are taking to Blind to discuss the impact of AI on the future of software engineering.
  • Some say they’re “anxious” about AI replacing their jobs and wonder if it’s the end of a “golden age.”
  • AI has already begun to threaten the job security of software engineers.

Tech workers are beginning to panic about the possibility that AI is coming for their jobs.

Since ChatGPT captured headlines late last year, workers have taken to the anonymous networking site Blind to question whether AI will make their jobs obsolete. Software engineers on the site, which requires users to verify their employee email addresses, have written dozens of posts on the issue — from polls on when AI will replace them to admissions that the “golden age is over.”

Insider did not independently verify the employment of users cited in this story.

“Software engineering is a dying profession,” a Microsoft engineer wrote in a Blind post from earlier this week, titled “Face it, golden age is over.”

“And since GPT is already great at writing its own prompts, you’re up the creek without a paddle,” they added.

The post generated nearly 500 replies, from one user claiming “the profession is fine” to another agreeing that “basically every white collar job is dead.”

In a separate post, a Blind user created a poll asking whether young software engineers are screwed. The survey generated more than 12,000 votes. 41.3% of respondents voted yes, while 37% voted that opportunities have remained unchanged, and another 21.7% said that there are more opportunities now.

Several other workers on Blind said that they are “anxious” about what the future of AI will mean in general. One Google engineer said they wondered if it was time to start their career “from the ground up again.”

An Amazon employee said they feel the craft they have been honing for 15 years is changing. “Yesterday I played with gpt-4 and seeing the results left me with a sense of dread and sadness,” they wrote.

This anxiety comes as tech companies are betting big on the future of AI. Earlier this year, Semafor reported that OpenAI had begun teaching its AI software engineering, and Insider previously reported that AI advancements like ChatGPT have already begun to threaten the job security of software developers. Stability AI CEO Emad Mostaque has even predicted there will be “no programmers in five years.” 

At the same time, tech workers are already battling massive layoffs and questioning if their massive salaries are here to stay. Earlier this week, Vox reported that software engineers have been hit the hardest by the cuts — challenging the narrative that there is job security in learning to code.

Still, some users are optimistic that AI will be beneficial to software engineers. One Blind poster who works at Shopify compared the “doom and gloom over ChatGPT” to the negative rhetoric around 5G, the blockchain, and Web3. Another user doubted that most companies would be advanced enough to adopt the technology.

“Y’all will be just fine, treat AI as a productivity accelerator and not as an enemy. We made it, it didn’t make us,” a Microsoft worker wrote in response to the fate of software engineers.

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Read the original article on Business Insider
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