Artificial Intelligence: not tomorrow but now

04 January 2016
Jedrzej Osinski
Recently, a group of QA Engineers from Cognifide took part in the 10th edition of Testwarez - the biggest software testing conference in Poland. The theme was “Inspirations” and the event included various topics, fascinating talks and great opportunities to exchange thoughts, ideas and contacts.

As well as intellectual development, there was something for the body too.  We also enjoyed a great lake-side location in the Mazovia area, traditional and modern food as well as evening entertainment. Among all that richness I had the great pleasure to present to the audience and tell them why my work is also my passion.

Do you think you have never met artificial intelligence in your life? Do you think it is only for rocket scientists? If you answered “yes” to either of these questions you are helping to promote the myth that  somehow builds an invisible wall between computer science and modern IT. The myths say that AI techniques are not very popular, that they are too new to be safely used, that they are difficult to implement and understand.  

But the truth is that AI is all around us. Whenever you swipe a finger on your mobile screen you are really touching AI. It is hidden from our eyes but working really well in our washing machines, tv sets and our fridges. It even ensures our safety, successfully controlling the ABS in our cars.

So if AI is everywhere, why can't we talk about it in the area of software testing? The reason is the myth  mentioned above, the myth that steers most companies away from the path to the future. A Myth that leads business decision-makers to avoid AI techniques as if it was Skynet. But when one looks at global IT leaders they are all strongly focused on science and Google search engine is full of AI algorithms.

Why did I choose such a topic for my presentation? I am a person with quite unusual experience - I am both a computer scientist (Ph.D. in artificial intelligence) and a Software QA Engineer at Cognifide. I think that somehow determines the way I perceive the world around me.  My habit to always ask questions and look for patterns, similarities and opportunities to combine things don't seem related at first glance, to connecting theories with practical usage. However, I decided to look at how AI can potentially help testers in their everyday work and even replace us in the activities that we are not interested in performing anymore. Let's just do the challenging, interesting and creative tests and leave everything else for the machines. Sounds like a dream? Not necessarily - all the technological pieces are there already and today it is high time to put them together.

One of my favourite quotes is from Albert Einstein: “If you can't explain something simply you don’t understand it well enough”. I tried to follow this rule during my presentation, so however technical you are, check the slides here and realise that AI is all around you.

P.S. Feel free to contact me if you like the post, slides or just want to discuss a little bit more about AI…