Can AI Replace Programmers?

Written by Adam Morris

Updated August 6, 2023
Man sitting in computer chair facing computer monitor with orange hue light on background

The use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly increasing in various fields, improving efficiency and simplifying tasks. With the exponential advancement of AI technology, we are left to ponder, can AI replace computer programmers?

The responsibilities of programmers involve creating, updating and managing software programs that operate on computers and various devices. They are highly skilled professionals who write code that brings machines to life. But as AI technology continues to evolve, some experts predict that it could render the profession of programming obsolete.

While AI may be capable of performing certain programming tasks, it is unlikely to completely replace programmers. This article discusses the possibility of AI replacing programmers, but also notes the unique skills that human programmers possess that cannot be duplicated by machines. The article considers what this could mean for the future of the profession.

Can AI Do Coding?

Yes, Artificial Intelligence (AI) can do coding. One such example is an AI language-generating system called GPT-3, the descendant of the world’s most dangerous AI, GPT-2. As per researcher Sharif Shameem’s tweet on 13th July 2020, he used GPT-3 to lay out a web page using only simple descriptions as inputs and was able to produce JSX codes.

AI robot using laptop typing on desk

JSX code is known to produce websites with React, an open source JavaScript library for building user interfaces or its components which makes it possible for AI bots like GPT-3 to code in various languages such as Cascading Style Sheets (CSS), JavaScript (JS), Python and so on.

Although this development is impressive and positive, there are still several issues that must be resolved before it can be used for coding regularly with complete dependability and precision.

Writing Code With AI

In 2015, Andrej Karpathy wrote code using a powerful Recurrent Neural Network. Karpathy took a massive Linux repository and combined it into one very large document to help train the RNN. He then left the AI running overnight and when he awoke the following morning, there was something waiting for him: AI-generated code with functions, function decorations, parameters, variables, and even accurate indentation.

Karpathy’s experiment showed us just how far AI technology has come in terms of being able to create functioning code from scratch. Thanks to advancements in Machine Learning, Deep Learning, and Natural Language Processing, we can now do tasks that were not possible just a few years ago.

This breakthrough demonstrated the increasing potential of AI technology for software engineering applications in both hardware and software development ecosystems.


Microsoft and Cambridge University researchers have made an incredible technological breakthrough with their AI, DeepCoder. This Artificial Intelligence tool can find solutions for programming problems by harvesting code fragments and discovering the best possible arrangement of those pieces of code.

Though this process is secure — meaning the AI doesn’t copy-paste or steal finished source code from existing software — it is still quite remarkable that such a task could be automated so quickly and accurately.

Programming code on screen in different colors

DeepCoder has such potential implications in the world of technology, that its creators expect it to participate in programming competitions soon. Marc Brockschmidt from Microsoft Research, who is involved in the project, thinks that the tool would be beneficial to non-coders who lack coding expertise.

This tool could be particularly useful for such individuals. With DeepCoder which can automate the process behind forming a computer program, individuals without prior experience in coding can now attempt their own ideas and hopefully bring them to life quicker than ever before.


Diffblue recently released a groundbreaking tool that has the potential to revolutionize the software development industry. Their AI-powered automated unit testing tool harnesses cutting-edge technology to generate unit tests for code in just seconds, and requires no extra effort from the user—no small feat for software engineers who dread this process.

The company had spun out of the University of Oxford’s Computer Science department and provides free access to their product either as Diffblue Playground or Diffblue Cover. This marks a departure from the market which previously only made similar tools available at a commercial cost.

GitHub Copilot

GitHub Copilot is a new code assistant desired to revolutionize the programming process. It is an extension to Visual Studio Code and relies on artificial intelligence developed by OpenAI, allowing it to analyze billions of lines of public code. This tool promises near-instant suggestions on coding as it is being written, offering alternative options users can edit manually in order to match their preferred style.

However, not everyone has been so enthusiastic about GitHub Copilot’s introduction into the programming world. The Free Software Foundation has labeled its use as “unacceptable and unjust”, citing potential legal issues with such a powerful AI assistant that are yet to be addressed via white papers and other sources of information.

Considering the massive impact this tool could have on the industry and its implications on philosophy and intellectual property rights, there is certainly much more discussion still to come surrounding GitHub Copilot.

Will AI Replace Programmers?

The idea of a dystopian future where Artificial Intelligence (AI) can replace humans is just a Hollywood fiction. In reality, we are still far from achieving such a level of technological progress. A few years back, Microsoft launched an AI chatbot named Tay, which was created to chat with users on Twitter.

Two female programmers working on project in front of computer

Initially thought of as a fun experiment in artificial intelligence, the project quickly backfired when some users began teaching it bigoted language and the AI soon started spouting off offensive comments by itself at random.

Microsoft was quick to respond and shut down the project publicly. This warning beacon signalled to us that while Artificial Intelligence can certainly be useful for completing tasks, developing deeper understanding and even managing complicated machineries, there may still be inherent risks involved if we do not maintain tight control over these newly created capabilities. We must remain cautious or risk creating unintended consequences out of our own ignorance.

Also see: How Much Do AI Programmers Make?

Will ChatGPT Take Over Other Jobs?

ChatGPT has been gaining traction as an innovative tool that leverages AI-driven natural language processing technology to generate conversations and even write essays. This inevitably raises the question among content creators and technical writers of whether or not these chatbots could potentially take away their jobs.

Fortunately, however, the need for professionals in these industries does not seem to be threatened by the proliferation of ChatGPT. The generated responses from such chatbots are often repetitive and antiquated, making them less valuable compared to the well-crafted outputs professional writers can produce.

Ai robot and male salaryman playing tug of war for competition in job market

In reality, applying ChatGPT technology could help seasoned creatives or marketing professionals come up with interesting concepts or a new angle on stories they are stuck on – as is seen in one popular Twitter thread where ChatGPT helped diagnose a type of heart disease.

Even when taking into account this impressive instance, it is still clear that ChatGPT cannot replace those professionals that create content out of genuine experience and skill. You can read more about how to prevent AI from taking over jobs here.

Future of Software Development

Creating successful and reliable software products is a complex process that demands time and expertise. AI alone is not sufficient to produce accurate results, so humans are unlikely to be replaced by it in the near future.

Although AI can be utilized for tasks like coding, it is currently limited in its ability to create extensive code that spans numerous lines. Technological advancement is necessary before AI can effectively develop production-level code.

Though progress have been made in the realm of Artificial Intelligence, it serves only as an additional tool for software developers rather than an all-encompassing replacement. Machines still lack the creativity and intuition necessary for designing original software solutions or debugging complex issues, something that experienced human programmers are best suited for.

Therefore, if you’re looking for ways to enhance your current software development process moving forward, incorporating AI into your development workflow can greatly improve efficiency – but don’t expect it take over completely just yet!

Adam is a crypto expert & AI enthusiast who has been researching and writing on the topics since 2017.

He’s spoken on numerous podcasts and has been featured in many prominent media publications such as Forbes, CNN & CNBC.