Most of us, particularly those with STEM backgrounds, must have encountered Venn diagrams during their course of education. Recently I saw one presenting a growing niche of intelligent software within a larger space of all software problems. This niche is growing, no doubt. But will it grow to an extent that it will subsume other areas as well? One corollary of this trend would be a lot of programmers, if not all, will loose their jobs.
There was a time when it was not advised to solve a problem in an “intelligent” way as long as the algorithm for it was known. But is that going to change? Considering the distribution of input is known, can’t the algorithm be optimized for most frequently occuring cases? Just install the black box and keep feeding input as long as you keep it on, the perpetual learning machine would keep on improving it’s performance.
Consider another trend. Not too long ago it was a rule of thumb in industry to hire a system administrator for every 100 machines. That trend is no longer there as the job of a system administrator has long been automated. And it’s cited as one of the benefits for shifting to cloud computing.
There is another trend of moving towards less flexible solutions as long as the needs or requirements don’t call for more custom ones. This trend is growing in games, mobile, cloud and the web.