During a call with UBS analysts, Emad Mostaque, the CEO of Stability AI, made a significant prediction about the future of coding jobs in India. Mostaque stated that a majority of the country’s outsourced coders will soon lose their jobs due to the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on software development processes. With advancements in generative AI, it is now possible to develop software with significantly fewer human resources.
Mostaque explained that the effects of AI on technical jobs will differ from country to country. Countries with robust labor laws, such as France, are expected to have more protections in place for developers compared to India. Mostaque emphasized that in India, outsourced coders up to level three programmers are likely to face job losses within the next year or two. In contrast, he stated that developers in France would be more secure in their positions and are unlikely to be fired.
The impact of AI on different types of jobs will vary based on factors such as the nature of the work and the regulations in each country. Jobs that involve working in front of a computer without direct visibility from others will be particularly affected. Mostaque highlighted that AI models are becoming increasingly skilled, making their impact more significant in these roles.
India, with its vast pool of over 5 million software programmers, is particularly susceptible to the effects of advanced AI tools like ChatGPT. The country serves as a prime location for companies outsourcing back-office jobs and other roles. Major tech giants from Silicon Valley, Wall Street banks, airlines, and retailers are among the customers of India’s outsourcing firms, including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Infosys, and Wipro.
TCS, the largest outsourcing provider in India, has made significant investments in generative AI. The company has committed to training more than 25,000 engineers on the technology through Microsoft’s Azure Open AI service to facilitate clients’ adoption of this powerful new technology. TCS CEO N. Ganapathy Subramaniam highlighted that AI has already had a substantial impact on their operations, and generative AI has accelerated this progress.
Mostaque reiterated his previous statement that there will be “no more programmers” in five years’ time, clarifying that he was referring to coders in the traditional sense. He argued that as AI becomes proficient in various aspects of programming, from bug testing to ideation, human coders will be less necessary. However, he emphasized that AI will serve as “co-pilots,” assisting human programmers rather than fully replacing them. The balance between AI’s capabilities and the need for human expertise remains a key question that must be addressed as different areas of programming are affected in varying ways.