Matt | 18 February 2020

What Is Artificial Intelligence In Software Testing?

Software testing is no easy task, with many testers required to carry out a huge number of processes time and time again. Software testers are always looking for technologies and methods to make their testing processes easier and more accurate. Artificial intelligence has seen new opportunities in all areas of software development, and testing is no different.

In order to embrace these new opportunities that AI can bring to the testing industry, it is vital that you understand what it is and how it can be used. Our experts are sharing everything you need to know about artificial intelligence, including what it is and how it can benefit software testing.

What Is Artificial Intelligence?

Artificial intelligence, or AI, has been a buzzword in recent years, with almost every industry beginning to adopt the technology in one way or another. It is becoming far more commonplace, and many of us will come across AI in some form every day of our lives. Put simply; artificial intelligence is machines simulating human processes.

The programming uses three skills; learning, reasoning and self-correction, in order to operate similarly to the human mind. AI can learn by creating algorithms on how to turn data into useful information, these are combined with the reasoning processes which help to choose the correct algorithm for the desired outcome. All these algorithms are fine-tuned in the self-correction process in order to give the most accurate results.

How Artificial Intelligence Is Changing Software Testing?

The software testing industry is increasingly turning to artificial intelligence to improve processes and enhance results. Automation has been embraced by most software testing for some time, as the benefits of automating many tests are clear. AI means that we can take automation even further and allow machines to take over the execution of many test codes that once needed manual interaction.

It is a step toward making the entire software process completely automated with no human interaction required. In the future, it is expected that eventually software will be able to test, diagnose and fix itself.

Why Is Artificial Intelligence Needed In Software Testing?

Software testing is one of the most fundamental areas of software development. Despite this, many developers are unable to complete exhaustive testing, which is a test approach in which every possible data combination is used. This is because of a lack of both time and resources, as manually testing every combination would often be almost impossible. There is also a risk of human error in manual testing, and even the most precise software tester is likely to make mistakes at some stage.

This is why there is a requirement for a system that can intelligently automate the process based on repetitive patterns.

The process of software testing is the area of development which takes up the largest amount of time, resources and funding. Incorporating artificial intelligence can lead to faster deployments as the majority of testing is repetition checks. AI can be used to automate testing processes in an effective way which would be impossible with human testing, while also reducing time and costs.

Good practice for software testers would be to use a combination of human intelligence and artificial intelligence in order to innovate the test environment. It is recommended to leave repetitive testing to AI-powered automation systems, while manual testing would still be required for complex test operations where human reasoning ability and creativity is still needed. By combining the two processes, software testers can ensure reliable results in less time, with fewer inaccuracies and inconsistencies than human testing alone.

When artificial intelligence is used properly in software testing, it will be able to create software that is smarter and more productive to the end-user. However, to get to this point, AI needs to be properly interpreted and set up. The algorithms used must operate like genuine user interactions, and so need to be carefully created for accurate results.

From this point, software testers can identify the areas in the process which could be optimised using AI. Having appropriate machine learning and algorithms in place, software testers can find more bugs in less time and will make the application more accurate and reliable.

Looking Beyond Continuous Testing With Artificial Intelligence

Software developers are always experiencing an increasing demand for more innovative software. In the past, software companies would release new iterations of the software on an annually, bi-annually or quarterly basis. These days, these new iterations generally last just a few weeks until a new release is available. This is a lot for software testing teams to keep up with, and so has led to the introduction of continuous testing. Continuous testing is used to make sure that the best possible user experience is delivered at all times, and processes are tested early and often.

Looking to the future, it is clear to see that continuous testing won’t always be enough and additional support will be required to achieve a positive experience for users.

Software is becoming increasingly complex and features high-performance speeds that are difficult to keep up with. Artificial intelligence and machine learning can be used to go beyond continuous testing. These technologies can be used to take control of complicated phases of the software development process. AI is ideal for advance software testing and automating tasks which include self-learning. This is something that was previously only available with human cognition.

Artificial Intelligence Training For Software Testers

Here at TSG Training, we understand that software testers often struggle to get to terms with artificial intelligence and the opportunities it can bring. Our BSC Essentials in Artificial Intelligence course is designed to teach the basics behind AI and machine learning. The one day course covers potential benefits, the types of artificial intelligence available, the process of machine learning, the challenges associated with AI and the potential future of AI and humans in work.

This training is perfect for those with a keen interest in AI, or a need to implement artificial technology within an organisation.

If you want to find out more, click here to view our FREE webinar that discusses the complex relationships between human and artificial learning.