Can ChatGPT Replace Software Engineers? A Closer Look

We all know that artificial intelligence is one of the most required and booming areas of development. It helps people in various ways, especially when it comes to businesses. Moreover, the concept of smart AI chatbots is also not new.

However, in November 2022, the OpenAI research lab launched an AI tool that is often called a phenomenal breakthrough in AI technology. ChatGPT is known as an accessible chatbot that is friendly, fast, and to the point, but most importantly, it can answer and create nearly anything you ask – whether it’s finding information, proofreading, writing a poem, or even creating usable code.

Just five days after OpenAI ChatGPT was first released, the chatbot hit the one million user mark. This mind-blowing result made ChatGPT an absolute champion among the world-leading social media and entertainment apps, such as Instagram, Twitter, Netflix, etc.

Looking at this AI sensation, more and more people have been asking fair questions about the future of software development: Will ChatGPT replace software engineers? Will it ever be possible for a business to create a software product without hiring human developers?

In this article, we’ll take a deeper look at how ChatGPT works and speculate about whether the ChatGPT app is a new threat to the job of software developers.

What is ChatGPT?

ChatGPT is a chatbot that responds to users’ queries and runs a human-like dialogue. It generates unique content that ranges from an informative summary or explanation to creative pieces like poems or music. But how does ChatGPT work exactly, and how does it manage to deal with these tasks?

The ChatGPT chatbot’s operation is based on a Generative Pre-trained Transformer (that’s why it’s called GPT). The bot has been trained through enormous amounts of data, and it generates answers by finding patterns and extracting the necessary information.

ChatGPT utilizes natural language processing, known as NLP, to understand users, write human-like texts, and learn. The algorithms work based on deep learning, so they can constantly get better at their tasks, particularly using feedback.

Features and limitations of ChatGPT

For millions of people, OpenAI ChatGPT has become a great tool to complete a range of tasks, from searching concrete data to creative work.

Features of ChatGPT

What exactly can ChatGPT do successfully in practice?

  • Performing and automating simple tasks: ChatGPT AI has been taught on millions of documents, and it definitely knows how to do routine tasks. From all that data, the bot takes knowledge on procedures that have already been done by people. That means you can delegate tedious routine work to the algorithms and then just prove the results.
  • Summarizing and explanations: One of the primary goals for many people when using ChatGPT is to find out the most essential information or have it explained. If you don’t want to waste hours diving into a topic, you can ask the bot to describe, clarify, or pinpoint the crux of the matter in a nutshell.
  • Tailored results based on conversations: One of the exceptional features of ChatGPT is its ability to understand and process human messages. It allows users to specify the tasks, perfecting the final product according to their requirements. That is, you won’t get a one-size-fits-all answer, but rather strive to find a solution to your individual issue.
  • Assisting in different fields: The data ChatGPT is trained on comes from a variety of topics, which makes it a universal tool for people from different areas of work. Even within one domain, ChatGPT Open AI can be a Jack-of-all-trades and lead you into nuances of a chosen aspect.
  • Interaction in different languages: All the ChatGPT features are available for users from all around the globe, as the bot translates its answers from English into multiple other human languages.


Limitations of ChatGPT

The ChatGPT capabilities are finite, even though it has so many helpful features.

So, what limitations of ChatGPT keep it from becoming a full-fledged consultant or even an “employee”?

  • The bot’s comprehension isn’t perfect: Although ChatGPT AI exploits advanced language processing algorithms, it can barely get all the shades of the human language. That means, your ironic or sarcastic comments will probably be ignored, and even a simple question can be understood incorrectly, just because the bot doesn’t get the intonations and emphases in a sentence.
  • Lack of critical analysis: This advanced AI chatbot generates coherent answers and offers data-backed solutions, but how accurate is ChatGPT in fact? It doesn’t have the same level of common sense as humans and can’t analyze its answers critically, that’s why its results can often appear logical only at first glance.
  • Problem-solving issues: ChatGPT is great for performing small and simple tasks. However, when it comes to larger and more complex projects, problem-solving skills are always required. For now, the bot can’t deal with such situations.
  • Limited knowledge: Input is the basis of ChatGPT’s work. The accuracy and completeness of the answers and solutions depend for the most part on the kind of knowledge the bot possesses. Sometimes, the chat doesn’t have information on the latest updates on the topic or simply doesn’t know details on a certain aspect of the matter.
  • Thinking inside the box: When you get the answer from ChatGPT, you should keep in mind that the bot produced it based solely on what it has in its knowledge base. It analyzes common patterns to come up with a basic solution for your request, but it can’t actually get creative with its approach.

With all that said, ChatGPT can be a nice tool to deal with a limited set of tasks. But for greater projects and more intricate questions, you may need a human assistant who would prove the bot’s work.


ChatGPT and software development

After its launch in 2022, people started experimenting by exploring the possibilities of using ChatGPT for software development. They found out that this bot can write functioning codes and estimate the codes of other developers.

The latter feature is not new to the world of IT, as similar assistants have long been present on the market. For instance, GitHub Copilot is a widely used tool that can mark issues in a code, so that a developer can polish it. Powered by machine learning, ChatGPT went further, giving users extensive answers and explanations.

Today, software development teams use ChatGPT in their projects as a tool for improving the overall workflow, working on specific code samples, or searching for relevant information.

ChatGPT can write simple codes well, and it can be a great assistance for developers who want to automate a routine, easy but time-consuming, part of their work, like writing basic codes or working on documentation. Instead, they can quickly prove the bot’s job and go straight to more crucial stages of the project.

The chatbot can also consult coders concerning some parts of the codes, indicating bugs and possibly explaining their nature. For software engineers, it can save plenty of time, as these errors are often hard to find and require hours of testing and reviewing.

Lastly, ChatGPT operates as a knowledge base that can generate answers quickly. That means developers don’t spend their time going through manuals and FAQs in communities, but get the solution fast and go on with the project work.

Can ChatGPT replace software engineers?

Taking into account the positive impact of ChatGPT on software development, the work of software engineers may seemingly become obsolete. In fact, professionals in this field are extremely skeptical, when discussing such drastic changes in the IT market.

So, in addition to all the general drawbacks of relying solely on this chatbot, what are the limitations of ChatGPT when it comes to writing software code, specifically?

  1. The bot can deal only with the most basic coding. It can create a simple app that solves several tasks or an elementary game, but it’s totally inappropriate for complex multi-aspect projects, not to mention individual approaches, tailored to specific business requirements.
  2. The products created by ChatGPT are not usable for businesses dealing with customer and other sensitive data, as AI-generated codes lack security, and you surely can’t rely on them for business purposes.
  3. You can never trust AI fully, when it attempts to create an app. The code needs to be checked by a human, as sometimes, the code created by ChatGPT may look applicable, but in fact, it should be 100% controlled by expert developers.
  4. ChatGPT can’t replace the whole team, as it can’t communicate with other members, managers, clients, and partners, as well as generate ideas on its own to help clients get the most out of their projects.

That is, the ChatGPT chatbot is still a bot, however advanced it might be. It’s a new and efficient tool that can speed up many small procedures, but you can’t delegate the whole project to this AI assistant.

Looking into the future of ChatGPT

ChatGPT is the next stage of advancements in AI technology. It’s obviously a powerful tool to manage a range of different tasks, including those in software development. Yet, creating a software product is a more complex task than just writing a basic code. It can’t be done by AI, and it won’t be done by it in the nearest future.

To perform a development project, one should find a team of experts in software development, project management, marketing, and other relevant scopes of work. Well-coordinated cooperation between professionals who use all means and tools to make their work perfect is the only way to get an outstanding product that meets all business requirements.

Our Eastern Peak team knows how to benefit from the latest tools to create a flawless product for our clients. Contact us to get started with your project.

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