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Tech Transforms podcast: It’s time to get familiar with generative AI

On the Tech Transforms podcast, sponsored by Dynatrace, we talk to some of the most prominent influencers shaping critical government technology decisions.

Understanding generative AI and how to use it can unlock boundless innovation.

Tracy Bannon, Senior Principal/Software Architect and DevOps Advisor at MITRE, is passionate about DevSecOps and the potential impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on software development. However, AI is a relatively new technology. Individuals and organizations are still working to understand the potential impact of generative AI, both positive and negative. That’s why Bannon is demystifying artificial intelligence, helping them break through the fear, uncertainty, and doubt.

During the latest So What segment of the Tech Transforms podcast, Bannon and I discuss how organizations are using ChatGPT and other generative AI solutions in the corporate setting. We highlight some of the shortcomings of current generative AI models, including hallucinations (where a large language model produces false information) and incorrect information. Bannon attributes these challenges to two factors. The first: users don’t have easy access to determine the information source. The second: users don’t know who is building, controlling, and/or feeding data into the model. She emphasizes that generative AI models are only as good as the information they receive. As the adage goes: “Garbage in, garbage out.”

Software developers can achieve unprecedented productivity and innovation with ChatGPT and generative AI. Here’s how.

Generative AI can help, but it isn’t coming for your job

Throughout the conversation, Bannon emphasizes that generative AI is still in its infancy. While it has enormous potential, it still has a long way to go, especially when it comes to software development. She’s found it has too many flaws.

“If I have to spend more time debugging what ChatGPT gave me than it would take me to phone a friend, that’s an issue,” she said.

So, how does Bannon use generative AI? For modernization. As new developers enter the workforce, they’re encountering software written in languages they’ve never encountered. Complicating things further, there’s an aging generation of developers who have not been backfilled. The necessary documentation for institutional knowledge transfer does not exist. Luckily, AI can help explain a piece of code in a language that’s growing archaic and determine its intent.

Cover image of Episode 63 of the Tech Transforms podcast. This episode of Tech Transforms unpacks the impact of AI, particularly when it comes to the software development lifecycle.

Tune in to the full episode for more insights from Bannon on AI.

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