Opinion Technology
January 26, 2024

AI’s Democratization is Reshaping Generative AI Development, says Wix’s Head of Data Science Guild

'AI's Democratization is Reshaping the Generative AI Development,' says Wix.com's Head of Data Science Gilad Barkan

In 2024, the democratization of AI technologies has brought about a fundamental transformation in the generative AI landscape, prompting a reconsideration of the role of developers. This shift raises crucial questions about how developers should equip themselves for the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead.

Today, two primary roles emerge in this transformed landscape: AI Users and AI Creators. Most developers fall into the category of AI Users, leveraging external APIs to construct AI-based products. On the other hand, AI Creators such as data scientists play a critical role in creating value beyond the capabilities of AI Users.

In a conversation with Metaverse Post — Gilad Barkan, Head of Data Science Guild at Wix, shared insights on how AI’s democratization is reshaping the generative AI landscape, presenting a transformative moment for developers.

“For the first time, AI is available for nearly everyone as a true and valuable service. AI is instanced by models that capture intelligence. Previously, these models could only be developed by the data scientists of a company,” Barkan told Metaverse Post. “Now, with the advent of the so-called Foundation Models, in general, and Large Language Models (LLMs), in particular, any engineer can directly access these models via APIs and quickly develop AI-based applications.”

Barkan emphasized the significance of AI Creators as enablers who accelerate large-scale AI product releases while also serving as vital AI experts to stay ahead of exponential developments, ensuring continual organizational value creation.

“AI Creators are a much smaller percentage of the company – data scientists who create value for the company in places that AI users can not. AI creators focus on creating value for the organization and serve as the AI experts who keep themselves up-to-date with the current exponential developments,” he explained.

“Within the territories dedicated to AI Value Creators, we observe areas such as fine-tuning LLMs to customize them toward the organization’s specific use cases and data; Engaging in research to discover the company’s next AI-based groundbreaking technologies; Developing methods and techniques for better evaluation, controllability, and reliability of the LLMs.”

In their role as AI Users, developers are encouraged to view AI as a personal assistant, allowing them to perform tasks faster and more accurately. According to Barkan, this approach could revolutionize the development process, unlocking new possibilities for efficiency and innovation.

“Using AI tools, like GitHub CoPilot, is disruptive to how a developer works and is revolutionizing the development process,” said Wix’s Barkan. “Therefore, developers, on the one hand, need to keep up-to-date with the AI tools out there, while on the other hand, acquiring a deeper understanding of AI technologies to develop breakthrough technologies using AI.”

Generative AI is Streamlining Development Productivity

Delving further into the evolving landscape of generative AI, developers now take on the role of AI Creators. However, this shift requires a deeper understanding of the intricacies of AI technologies and a commitment to ongoing learning. As AI Creators, developers are positioned to contribute significantly to large-scale AI product releases, actively participating in the creation of innovative solutions that go beyond the capabilities of external APIs.

According to Yoav Abrahami, Chief Architect at Wix, developers now utilize AI chat engines, such as ChatGPT and Google’s Bard, for rapid prototyping, significantly reducing the time spent on routine coding tasks.

For example, a project that might have taken a day that involved thinking about examples for a project, figuring out how to write it in HTML, the proper CSS, and the right content for it can now be done in a few hours with an AI chat engine. This results in a significant increase in developer productivity.

“AI is being utilized for exploring complex questions, enabling developers to seek high-level insights without delving into specialized documentation, increasing productivity. However, this efficiency comes with a challenge: if reliance on AI surpasses traditional documentation, there may be a risk of diminishing incentives for maintaining comprehensive resources, underscoring the need for a balanced approach,” Yoav Abrahami told Metaverse Post.

Yoav Abrahami asserts that while AI excels in automating certain aspects, it’s crucial to note that developers will retain a vital role as the driving force behind understanding project goals, breaking down problems and conceptualizing solutions. Although AI can assist in each step of the development process, developers will continue to steer the creative aspects, with AI being a powerful tool to enhance their effectiveness.

“The symbiotic relationship between developers and AI is reminiscent of the creative process seen in the Iron Man and Avengers films between Tony Stark and his AI assistant, highlighting how developers can become the creative drivers while AI is a powerful tool to enhance their effectiveness,” he said. “In essence, the developer becomes the creative driver, while the AI engine acts as an empowering assistant, marking a profound evolution in the dynamics of software development.”

As we navigate the dynamic terrain of AI transformation, the roles of AI Users and AI Creators present unique challenges and opportunities, making it imperative for developers to stay informed, adapt to new paradigms, and embrace the evolving landscape of their profession in 2024.

“The option for everyone to run AI projects now makes it possible to duplicate AI pipelines, where each company is reinventing its wheel. To successfully run fast and keep the whole company up-to-date, we’ve established a group of AI ambassadors – representatives from each vertical at Wix – whom the data science team educates and mentors via frequent syncs,” said Wix’s Gilad Barkan. “We found this to be a successful way of distributing knowledge at Wix, and with AI, it’s no different. We’re only at the beginning of this new revolution.”

Disclaimer

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About The Author

Victor is a Managing Tech Editor/Writer at Metaverse Post and covers artificial intelligence, crypto, data science, metaverse and cybersecurity within the enterprise realm. He boasts half a decade of media and AI experience working at well-known media outlets such as VentureBeat, DatatechVibe and Analytics India Magazine. Being a Media Mentor at prestigious universities including the Oxford and USC and with a Master's degree in data science and analytics, Victor is deeply committed to staying abreast of emerging trends. He offers readers the latest and most insightful narratives from the Tech and Web3 landscape.

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Victor Dey
Victor Dey

Victor is a Managing Tech Editor/Writer at Metaverse Post and covers artificial intelligence, crypto, data science, metaverse and cybersecurity within the enterprise realm. He boasts half a decade of media and AI experience working at well-known media outlets such as VentureBeat, DatatechVibe and Analytics India Magazine. Being a Media Mentor at prestigious universities including the Oxford and USC and with a Master's degree in data science and analytics, Victor is deeply committed to staying abreast of emerging trends. He offers readers the latest and most insightful narratives from the Tech and Web3 landscape.

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