There is good news and there is bad news.
Let me start with bad news: AI (Artificial Intelligence) WILL replace software testers.
Let me continue with good news – the process (of replacement) will probably take a while and we’ll become jobless right before AI takes over humanity – the point when we are basically so screwed that it doesn’t matter if we are employed or not.
Let me elaborate.
The power of a manual tester is that he is a human with all CURRENT human advantages over the machine. For example,
- we have creativity
- we have drive for innovation
- we have natural curiosity
- we have unique abilities to learn new skills
- we have intuitive/aesthetic FEEL about how things should work/look like
Those profound advantages is the reason why QA automation (at this point) cannot explore/learn/approach/test things the way we, humans, can.
For example, as a human:
- you can test without specification
- you can realize that checkout flow is confusing to users
- you can feel that UI color combination is wrong
At this point, QA automation simply repeats what you program it to do, e.g., create new account or do a checkout. In other words, QA automation has NO intellect. That’s why current usage of QA automation is so limited and it’s so fragile – basically it breaks any time when it encounters any kind of unexpected obstacle, e.g., when programmer changes textfield id.
Complete replacement of manual testers will only happen when AI exceeds those unique qualities of human intellect and it’s allowed to apply those qualities in real life.
How soon will it happen? Nobody knows, but AI is still far away from being creative, innovative, proactive, curious, etc., – from being human-like.
Before AI takes over humanity, we, software testers, will still be needed and maybe even have some great times while constantly improving AI helps us be more productive and have more fun at work.
So, let’s enjoy it while we can and before it’s all over.