In recent years, artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a transformative technology with the potential to revolutionize pretty much every industry.


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In the software development field, in particular, developers are turning to generative AI tools, like ChatGPT and Copilot, to build and debug code and, thus, accelerate delivery times exponentially.

But while these tools offer a range of benefits for software development, several common pitfalls also need to be considered.

In this article, I’ll go over some of those pitfalls and how you can avoid them with the support of the OutSystems low-code platform.

Common pitfalls when using AI for app development

Here are a few challenges you should have in mind if you are planning to use generative AI tools:

  • Introducing errors and vulnerabilities: while the accuracy of the latest AI models is astonishing, there is still a reasonably high probability of errors and inaccuracies in the output. Looking at ChatGPT specifically, its creators state on their website that the tool “sometimes writes plausible-sounding but incorrect or nonsensical answers.” To ensure you’re not introducing errors and vulnerabilities in your code, professional developers should always review the code generated to make sure it’s secure and behaves as intended. This leads us to the next consideration.
  • Lacking the skills required to validate the output: although AI tools can augment developer productivity by generating code, they don’t solve the tech talent shortage problem as they still need skilled developers to spot errors, vulnerabilities, and inefficiencies.
  • Lax IT governance: although AI-generating tools can be used for app development, they are not designed exclusively for that. Therefore, they don’t offer any governance model or centralized user roles and permissions. Using the example of ChatGPT, any employee can upload sensitive company data to generate code snippets or produce content; there is no central governance model that dictates roles and permissions and determines who can do what within the tool.
  • Exposing sensitive data: AI-generating tools typically produce content based on pre-trained algorithms. So, anything you share with these tools can be used to train the system or even pop up in responses to other users. This can lead to serious security risks, as it happened to Samsung.
  • Failing to address the rest of the development lifecycle: app development is much more than generating and debugging code; it also includes setting up a development environment, compiling and building applications, managing code integration, testing, and changes (DevOps), and application hosting and runtime management, which goes beyond the scope of any AI generating tool.
  • Increasing technical debt: AI-generative models have tremendous potential to increase the speed of generating new code. However, this is both a blessing and a curse. Rampant code generation can quickly lead to technical debt and orphaned code if left unchecked. Any plans around using AI to augment development should consider the long-term risks of technical debt and the potential for increasing the tax on overburdened IT professionals.

How to use AI in app development successfully?

Does this mean there’s no room for AI in app development? Absolutely not.

With the right setup, development teams can overcome the pitfalls mentioned above and use AI to accelerate app development.

This means combining generative AI with a technology that promotes governance, provides embedded security checks, and supports developers throughout the entire software development lifecycle — from modeling new applications with the right architecture and user experiences to analyzing the business value and impact for the organization.

That’s where OutSystems comes in.

At OutSystems, we’ve incorporated AI into our platform since 2018 to make developers more productive. And we’re not just focused on code generation. We’re focusing on helping organizations build, maintain and evolve their most strategic applications.

Today, our AI Mentor System uses the best AI technology, including Large Language Models, to deliver important benefits to IT teams through the power of advanced AI, including:

  • Enhanced development productivity
  • Hardened application security
  • Improved app performance
  • Minimized technical debt
  • Improved overall code quality and architectural soundness.

What is the AI Mentor System?

OutSystems AI Mentor System is a set of comprehensive AI development tools. In 2023, it was distinguished as one of the Best Artificial Intelligence Driven Technology Solution in the renowned CODiE Awards that, every year, recognize the best B2B software.

AI Mentor supports your team through the whole software development lifecycle and ensures the apps are built to meet the highest standards.

You can think of it as having a team of experts to support and enhance your dev team.

Our Mentors include:

AI Mentor System.

  • Code Mentor: AI-assisted development system that predicts what to do next, suggests the best option, and adds it to a developer’s code, fully configured and adapted to the business logic and context. Additionally, Code Mentor enables developers to use natural language to describe complex data required for an application, and the built-in AI will automatically generate the proper SQL query, saving developers an enormous amount of time.
  • Architecture Mentor: AI-based enterprise architect that reviews code to ensure it meets critical architectural standards.
  • Security Mentor: AI-based security lead that reviews code to identify code vulnerabilities introduced during development.
  • Performance Mentor: AI-based performance expert that reviews code to identify possible performance bottlenecks and ensure that apps consistently perform at peak efficiency.
  • Maintainability Mentor: AI-based portfolio analyst that scans the company’s entire application portfolio looking for opportunities to reduce technical debt. The Maintainability Mentor is like having an AI-based development manager reviewing application code to root out duplicated code and suggesting opportunities to refactor applications.

Take a look at the video below to learn more about how our Mentor System works.

What about adding AI capabilities to applications?

You can also do that with the OutSystems platform.

Thanks to our visual programming capabilities and pre-built AI components, you can quickly transform customer and employee experiences and boost business efficiency.

Our pre-built AI components include the following:

  • Multidimensional chatbots
  • Language and sentiment analysis
  • Document processing
  • Custom AI models

And if you still want to add ChatGPT to create AI-powered applications, you can do it. Take a look at this demo to see an app built with OutSystems generating advertising copy using data from a product catalog.

Why should you use low-code for AI development?

There are several advantages to using a low-code development platform like OutSystems to make the best of generative AI in software development.

  • Empowering junior developers: OutSystems brings the power of AI to a broader range of developers, including junior developers and IT professionals. This is done through guided development and simplifying how intent is specified in the application, using a visual language that is easy to inspect and verify.
  • Privacy and security: the data you share with OutSystems stays private and is not shared with unauthorized users.
  • Robust governance and user controls: OutSystems allows you to establish user permissions and tightly control roles and responsibilities within the platform.
  • End-to-end solution: OutSystems addresses every phase of the software lifecycle, from frontend design to data integrations, logic, publishing, hosting, and more.

Want to explore more about OutSystems AI capabilities?

Take a look at the OutSystems AI page. Or to see it in action, book a free demo with one of our experts.