Clever or just plain lazy?

Lazy Town

Microsoft's software development service GitHub conducted a survey to figure out just how many programmers are using AI tools.

And the results are surprising. A whopping 92 percent of the 500 US-based developers surveyed said that they're already integrating AI tools into their workflow, while 70 percent said these tools offer them "an advantage at work."

The results suggest that tools like ChatGPT or even GitHub's own AI programming assistant Copilot have quickly become an integral part of a developer's everyday life — and since coders tend to be technically savvy, it could be an interesting sign of things to come for workers everywhere.

Developers, Developers, Developers

Respondents also said they believe these AI tools will improve the quality of their code.

"Developers say AI coding tools can help them meet existing performance standards with improved code quality, faster outputs, and fewer production-level incidents," the survey found.

That's despite academics finding serious flaws with code generated by ChatGPT, as The Register reports, with some not even meeting security standards.

It's not just GitHub that found programmers flocking to AI tools like ChatGPT. As Gizmodo points out, the popular forum Stack Overflow, which has become an important resource for coders, said that recent dips in traffic were likely caused by developers turning to those same tools.

But there are some reasons we should take GitHub's results with a grain of salt. The company has banked on the success of generative AI with its Copilot programming tool, which means that the company has a vested interest in its success and widespread use — and that's without its parent company Microsoft's deep entanglements with OpenAI.

Whether developers' careers could eventually be undermined — or enhanced — by generative AI remains to be seen. After all, we're already seeing jobs being replaced by AI — and programmers may not be immune.

More on GitHub: Elon Musk Bragged He Was Going to Open Source Twitter's Code, Now Furious That Someone Leaked It Online

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