Will AI Replace Manual Testers?

by Thijs Kok, on December 20, 2023

This article explores the impact of artificial intelligence (AI) on the field of software testing, highlighting three ways AI is already changing the process—test case generation, test case execution, and test result analysis. 

Like many industries, AI has initiated a big shift—and a number of questions—in how technology can be used to carry out established processes in the future.

And the software testing field isn’t immune.

While AI can help QA managers with many well-known software testing challenges, such as time-consuming test case generation, there’s still an underlying concern across the community that AI can eventually replace manual testing.

Let’s explore where AI can make a difference and where it can’t.

3 Ways that AI is Already Changing Software Testing

Here are three ways that AI is already changing the way that software testing is done:

Test Case Generation

One of the significant contributions of AI to software testing lies in its ability to streamline the test case generation process.

By analyzing code, AI can pinpoint areas requiring testing and optimize test suites based on criticality, probability of failure, and impact analysis. Furthermore, AI-powered natural language processing (NLP) tools can interpret natural language requirements, transforming them into test cases quickly and accurately.

Test Case Execution

AI has already proven itself in aiding with test case execution, but its role is continuing to expand.

For example, visual testing tools using AI capabilities can identify inconsistencies and UI issues by comparing expected and actual visual representations. The use of AI can also extend to simulating user behavior at scale and testing application performance under diverse conditions.

Finally, AI can automate regression testing by identifying code changes and re-running relevant test cases to ensure updates do not introduce unintended side effects.

Test Result Analysis

AI can also help human testers evaluate large datasets provided during the testing phase.

By helping to identify and track patterns in test results and usage data, AI can predict potential areas needing maintenance or improvement. AI can also be used to help with historical test data analysis to better anticipate failure areas in upcoming releases and create visual representations and natural language summaries of test results.

Will AI Replace Testers?

As these points showcase, it’s undeniable that AI is influencing many aspects of our professional lives, including software testing. So questions like, “Will AI replace testers?” are fair.

That’s why the TestMonitor team believes in addressing it straightforwardly. Here’s our stance:

While AI can automate specific testing aspects, it cannot entirely replace human testers. The cognitive skills, creativity, problem-solving abilities, and emotional intelligence that human testers bring to the table are irreplaceable.

For example, AI in its current form may struggle with evaluating GUI and identifying cutting-edge vulnerabilities—and may be influenced by unintentional considerations during its design, including inherent biases.

Instead, we believe that AI can enhance software testing and the role that testers play. While human testers leverage critical thinking, domain expertise, and intuition, AI serves as a complementary tool to enhance their capabilities.

Responsibilities can shift to emphasize the strengths of both approaches, allowing automation to handle repetitive tasks and leaving human testers to focus on more complex and nuanced manual testing.

Bringing It All Together

AI is revolutionizing software testing—from test case generation to defect detection.

However, rather than fearing replacement, the testing community should emphasize a focus on integrating AI as a tool for human testers. This approach capitalizes on the strengths of both approaches, ultimately creating a more robust and efficient testing process—and better products for customers.

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