Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Software Engineering Winter and AI Summer

At ISEC there was a panel discussion chaired by Vasudeva Varma who posed the question: `are we facing a Software Engineering Winter and an AI Summer?'. The motivating observation is the resurgence of AI after the boom in the 1980s and the AI Winter that followed it. Vasudeva challenged the panel audience to compare the number of movies made about AI compared to those made about SE. The panel went on to discuss how AI and SE can (and probably will) merge so that intelligence in various forms becomes part of conventional applications and their associated development methods and technologies. In particular, Machine Learning provides an opportunity for engineered software applications to benefit from their histories, to be become intelligent, resilient and adaptive: features that are typically omitted from software requirements. This sounds like a grand challenge for Software Engineers.