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What is Devin AI, World’s First AI Software Engineer?

Devin AI - first AI software engineer

Cognition, an AI research lab had released a new AI tool named “Devin AI”, which happens to be the world’s first AI software engineer, performing a software engineer’s work autonomously without human intervention.

Artificial Intelligence tools are flourishing out in huge numbers day by day since the arrival of ChatGPT. But this time a small research lab from New York garnered world’s attention by unveiling world’s first AI software engineer. The AI will do complete coding, error-checking and similar jobs what the human software engineer is expected to do.

As this raises up the question of “whether it will replace human jobs”, we will arrive to the answer of it at the end of this article, by understanding what Devin AI is and how it aids in assisting software engineers rather replacing them.

What is Devin AI?

Devin is an artificial intelligence tool which can plan and execute complex engineering tasks requiring thousands of decisions autonomously with no need of human attention. The game-changing AI tool will help software engineers in completing perplexing tasks and projects, thus reducing the workload and saving time.

When integrated with common developer tools including the shell, code editor, and browser within a sandboxed compute environment, Devin AI can work independently as a skilled teammate, equally ready to build and write codes alongside a human software engineer.

Mimicking a real software engineer, Devin reports its progress in real time, accepts feedback and works together in complex tasks using advanced reasoning and long-term planning capabilities.

What Devin AI can do?

Learn new stuffs by itself: Devin can learn itself on how to use new and unfamiliar technologies. When provided with descriptions on what’s required and the way to getting it done, Devin could learn and complete the tasks by itself. In an example, one of the researchers asked the AI to create an image in a website. The AI learnt to use the website with the descriptions of “How to use?” given in the website and came up with an image.

Devin AI can build and deploys apps end to end. Unlike GitHub Copilot, which suggests code completions, Devin AI is a full-fledged AI software engineer that carries out the task from start to end independently and autonomously. It handles entire projects by itself by generating complete code blocks, fixing errors, when provided with the necessary work resources and environment.

Devin AI’s ability to code outweighs that of other AI models such as Claude 2, Llama and GPT-4. When evaluated on SWE-bench, which is a challenging benchmark that asks agents to resolve real-world GitHub issues, Devin could resolve 13.86% of the issues end-to-end.

Not just in writing codes, but the AI helps in debugging as well. Devin is capable of finding and fixing bugs in codebases autonomously, saving much of the time for the programmers. While running the code, Devin could identify the bugs in it and automatically rectifies it in no time.

Moreover, Devin AI can train and fine tune other AI large language models given only a link to a research repository on GitHub. It can also contribute to mature production repositories and feature requests in open-source repositories, writes Cognition.

Devin is currently not open to public, but one can request the access to Devin for engineering works by filling out this google form.



Will Devin AI replace Jobs?

Devin’s capabilities in performing tasks autonomously end-to-end have raised concerns in impacting software engineers’ jobs. Can an AI replace a human as a software engineer? When we dig deep on what real software engineers do, we find that the job is not only about coding, and debugging, but a lot more than that.

A senior director of engineering and product development at Exotel, Heena Kothari said that coding constitutes only 40% of the whole software development process. The rest involves designing the software and making it work with other software, and understanding how people will use it.

In such a case, any AI can’t blindly replace a software engineer currently, but can assist them in quick completion of tasks easily and allows them to focus on higher-level skills. It may enable even non-technical people to easily build applications and will thus make jobs easier.

However, the AI might indeed push the need of upskilling for employees, to be competent enough with the AI, especially in concentrating on something that AI is incapable or skeptic of doing. Examples include being creative, problem-solving and decision making.

Therefore, Devin AI might not replace the jobs currently, but any employee who doesn’t prepare on how to use these AI tools effectively might get replaced.


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