Programmers use AI tools to boost global GDP

Programmers use AI tools to boost global GDP
Programmers use AI tools to boost global GDP

To make GitHub Copilot the world’s most widely adopted AI tool, it has generated over three billion accepted lines of code

Working with (artificial intelligence) AI tools, the productivity of software developers is likely to boost global gross domestic product (GDP) by more than $1.5 trillion by 2030, said a study on Wednesday.

GitHub, the programming collaboration platform, said its AI-powered coding assistant is used by more than one million developers and adopted by over 20,000 organizations. To make GitHub Copilot the world’s most widely adopted AI tool, it has generated over three billion accepted lines of code, the company said.

Within the first year of use, users accept nearly 30 percent of Copilot suggestions and find productivity improving later, the report said. The study is based on the analysis of 934,533 Copilot users.

There will be 45 million professional developers by 2030, and generative AI tools could increase the productivity of an additional 15 million “effective developers”, according to the report. Generative AI refers to a type of artificial intelligence that can create new content, such as text, images, or audio, by learning patterns from existing data.

“GitHub found that over time, the acceptance rate steadily increased as developers became more familiar with the tool,” GitHub said in a press statement.

“The economic impact of generative AI over the next decade will be profound—and we’re already seeing large-scale adoption of AI coding tools like GitHub Copilot by developers and companies. In a recent survey, 92 percent of developers said they use AI tools both in and outside of work, which underscores how quickly these tools are redefining the overall developer experience,” said Thomas Dohmke, GitHub’s chief executive officer (CEO).

Corroborating the company’s previous research on the impact of AI on developer productivity, GitHub’s study found that less experienced developers have an advantage with AI tools like Copilot. Developers will become fluent in using AI in writing software as they use tools like Copilot. This will democratise software development, help close the labour gap, and make AI programming tools part of the standard developer education experience.

“What we draw from all this is that generative AI is turbocharging developer productivity with gains that will ultimately drive a boom in GDP for the global economy and, in turn, a surge in demand for software developers. We’ve seen this throughout the history of developer tool innovations, from compilers to open source, and we’re already seeing that again with GitHub Copilot and soon GitHub Copilot X. One year later, we’ve realised this collision of AI and the software developer will not lead to a decrease in developer jobs—it will lead to AI augmenting developer potential and accelerating human progress,” said Dohmke.

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