AI must evolve to take over coding for maximum benefits

Artificial intelligence and IT must evolve to a stage where powerful computers can take over the analytical work and coding and writing of computer programs (Don't rush blindly to embrace technology, by Ms Wendy Yuen Woon Yoke, Aug 24; and We decide on how to use technology wisely, by Mr Heng Cho Choon, Aug 26).

I worked with the PSA staff to design a container tracking system in the 1970s. They had the IBM 370 computer system, which utilised a painfully slow process using the 80-column punch-card mechanical machines for coding.

I remember wondering when mankind would have automation to do this laborious task.

The mundane, tedious part of designing and coding computer programs must end. It has to be done by pressing a few buttons and having powerful robots design the program at the speed of light.

Until this can be done, we will be a long way from being able to use more advanced AI technology and IT to serve mankind at a higher speed.

Fast computers must be matched by fast coding.

I hope the day will come soon when AI takes over and makes the jobs of analysts, programmers and coders obsolete.

Tan Kok Tim

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 30, 2017, with the headline 'AI must evolve to take over coding for maximum benefits'. Print Edition | Subscribe