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Tech news this week: AI software engineer vs. human engineer

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As it turns out, software engineering is more than just writing code.

This week, host Antone Gonsalves speaks with J. Gold Associates analyst Jack Gold about Amazon Sidewalk, TechTarget reporter Beth Pariseau about generative AI in software development, and TechTarget reporter Arielle Waldman about data breach confidentiality.

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Amazon Sidewalk

Amazon Sidewalk is a shared network that pools together a small portion of Amazon device's internet bandwidth to extend the wireless network they run on. This will extend the functionality of Amazon devices like Echo and Tile, and put more data into AWS.

"What Amazon is doing is they're putting a stake in the ground saying, if you need low data rates, at very low cost, we've got a solution for you." Gold said. "And of course, they want you to leverage their back-end cloud to make it all happen."

Generative AI in software development

Generative AI is causing software developers to fear for their jobs, but many of the existing tools still don't outperform experienced engineers.

"Things like GitHub Copilot can be compared to things like spellcheck, AutoCorrect and autofill that you might have in Word or Gmail or email that predicts the next few words that you might type in a standard phrase" Pariseau said. "What large language models and generative AI are not is artificial general intelligence. It can't actually reason about the data that it's learning from."

This might affect beginners and junior-level coders, but engineers will still be needed.

Security breaches

Bitdefender surveyed 400 IT and security professionals in companies with at least 1,000 employees. Over half were told to keep data breaches confidential. U.S. companies were less likely to report than EU countries as well.

"I think reputational damage is one of the biggest fears, especially when sensitive information is involved." Waldman said. "They have to notify customers on that."

Despite the secrecy efforts, the prevalence of ransomware and data leak sites is making it increasingly more difficult to keep data breaches private.

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