Researchers Unveil Devin, the First AI Software Engineer

Researchers Unveil Devin, the First AI Software Engineer

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Nearly two years after its beginning, the relentless evolution of AI shows no signs of slowing down, with artificial intelligence becoming increasingly capable of completing a growing number of non-manual tasks previously done exclusively by humans. Recently, the list of professions that might soon get replaced by robots was joined by Software Developers with the introduction of Devin, the first AI software engineer developed by Cognition.

Described as a “tireless, skilled teammate” by its developers, Devin can plan and execute complex engineering tasks, make thousands of decisions, recall relevant context, learn over time, and correct mistakes in code. Additionally, it comes equipped with common developer tools like the shell, code editor, and browser, enabling it to autonomously solve engineering problems.

As per Cognition’s announcement, the AI’s list of capabilities includes learning to use new technologies, creating and deploying applications end-to-end, detecting and fixing bugs in codebases, contributing to established production repositories, and, most unnervingly, training and fine-tuning its own AI models. Whether this latter ability could lead to self-reprogramming and the emergence of a real-life Skynet or GLaDOS is up in the air at this point.

“When evaluated on the SWE-Bench benchmark, which asks an AI to resolve GitHub issues found in real-world open-source projects, Devin correctly resolves 13.86% of the issues unassisted, far exceeding the previous state-of-the-art model performance of 1.96% unassisted and 4.80% assisted,” the developers commented. “We even tried giving Devin real jobs on Upwork and it could do those too!”

Over on Twitter, the reaction of real Software Engineers was exactly what one would expect, with numerous individuals expressing concerns about the possibility of being replaced by machines and questioning whether the unstoppable march of progress should truly move at such a rapid pace:

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