Since the onset of the IT era with the launch of the first transistor in 1947, innovation after innovation has changed the world. With the development of personal computers in the 1980s, the spread of the World Wide Web in the 1990s, and the introduction of Smartphones in the 2000s, IT has rapidly transformed the way information is handled.
This is the second in a series of papers focused on testing of Artificial Intelligence (AI). It will give further insight into the test techniques and methodologies for ensuring AI quality, and it will identify the quality characteristics and their testing in this fast-changing area of IT. Our first paper “Testing of Artificial Intelligence; AI quality engineering skills – an introduction”
discussed the skills needed for quality engineering.
In this second paper, we define software quality, introduce a generic taxonomy of quality characteristics, discuss the connections between these characteristics, and discuss future work leading to a quality-characteristics-based methodology for evaluating software architectures.
The key premise of this paper is that there is a need to extend the existing model of quality characteristics with new quality characteristics specifically for AI and robotics. Content from both papers has been included in the book “Testing in the digital age; AI makes the difference”, published on 1 June 2018.
The technologies have reached a state in which promising mathematical Artificial Intelligence (AI) models and theories stemming from the 1950s can now be implemented. The development and use of AI is triggering another revolution in IT. The technology is powering its way into the market with both scientific disciplines and commercial sectors not only involved in the development of AI but using it in their business operations too. The initial successes achieved are visible already. The five most valuable companies worldwide are leaders in AI technology. The focus is not only on developing new products and services but also on improving business processes. The fact that the AI-driven AlphaGo has beaten the world champion of the complex game of Go clearly shows the possibilities. Go has been played by humans for more than two thousand years and now AI reveals new and un-imagined strategies.
Testing and AI
Testing is one of the many aspects of Quality Assurance (QA). With Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics (see the definitions in the next section) playing an increasingly important role in IT today, testing is more vital than ever. The use of AI (and robotics) in IT promises to enable new functions, and/or to support activities that make existing ones better and faster. But it also creates new challenges, read more in our report on those new challenges.