Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) systems have conquered the world of technology and greatly influenced our lives. It’s the logical next step that this technology also revolutionizes software testing. However, what is already possible with AI in software testing today — also referred to as AI testing — seem to a bit of a mystery and can be intimidating at times, but in our context, we will keep its reference confined only to the ability for a machine to understand an environment, perform “intelligent” actions, and “learn” how to improve itself automatically. Humans could have less work with implementing, executing, and analyzing test results, but they will be the ones approving and deciding what to do with them. In this manner, AI/ML can help us test faster and more efficiently, something on the lines of upgrading a normal man to an Iron man!
The New Quality Engineering Skills in Demand.
Whether you are driving your navigation system in your car by voice recognition or telling your phone at home which song to play — Smart software is everywhere and is rapidly changing the way we work, manufacture, communicate, entertain ourselves, manage our health, money, fitness, and whatnot. Smart software is embedded in so much of what we do and use in today’s digital world. And with this comes the real problem in terms of quality. Why? Because the actions and responses of intelligent machines will differ over time and thus are less predictable than traditional IT systems. And also, because the manually intensive way we have developed, tested, and delivered software up until now, is no longer enough to meet the escalating demand for new and innovative applications, in every walk of life.
The Quality approach based upon AI/ML will comply more with the Discover-Learn-Sense-Respond mechanism.
Discover: Figure outsmart assets, using data repositories, including, defects, tickets, logs that can be used for analysis purposes.
Learn: Identify the relationship between test assets and requirements for developing insights.
Sense: Predict the occurrence of an incident, impact, and likelihood led by analytics and insights.
Respond: Come up with a solution to an incident, feed the resolution and results for continuous learning.
Testers Will Become Mystics.
How would an AI/ML that tests know that the system under test is correct? Humans do this by finding a source of truth — a product owner, a stakeholder, a customer. But what would the source of truth for testing AI or ML? While AI may give us mystic insight into what a system will do, still the biggest problem would have to be resolved for testing AI to test AI or ML-based applications. This will have a great impact on the Testing community. Test Engineers would need a different set of skills in order to build and maintain AI-based test suites that test AI-based products. The job requirements would include more focus on data science, informatics, analytics, etc.
Impact on QA and Software Testing.
Humans could have less work with implementing, executing, and analyzing test results, but they will be the ones approving and deciding what to do with them. In this manner, AI/ML can help us test faster and more efficiently, something on the lines of upgrading a normal man to Iron man! Plus there will be a huge demand for a new breed of testers, who can perform AI/ML-based automation testing. This will require new skillsets; mainly based upon Mechanical, Electrical, Information processing, Machine intelligence, Business impact, and Social impact.
It's my personal belief that AI and ML will broaden a tester’s horizons and opportunities, even though technology can take over many of the mundane, repetitive tasks, the need for skills and knowledge in areas such as Software engineering, Informatics, Applied sciences, Analytics, and so much more, make this an exciting new world in which to work. How can we forget everything that starts, has an end? Just a few decades back everything was being done by humans in the Manufacturing industry and later Robotic Arms and then specialized Machines took over. I guess the same would happen some time or other even in the IT sector. But yes, if you keep Learning and prove your value to Business, trust me — You Gonna Stay There…
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