Intel’s AI-Powered Debugging Tool ‘ControlFlag’ Goes Open-Source

Over USD 156 billion out of USD 1.25 trillion is spent on software debugging.


Most of us recognize Intel as a semiconductor manufacturer, but one of the other things that Intel does is develop software. For example, the giant has its own Linux distro project named ‘Clear Linux,’ but that’s is a topic for another article.

Recently, Intel also open-sourced ControlFlag, an AI tool that makes debugging easier. With this, we’re going to look at the same, how it works, and how you can use it.

ControlFlag By Intel: Debugging Made Easy

For starters, debugging is the process of identifying and removing bugs from the code. It is one of the principal steps in the software development life cycle. Intel unveiled ControlFlag in December last year as a ‘productivity tool’ to assist developers with the most time-consuming task in the SDLC, Debugging.

It goes without saying that developers hate debugging. According to a study from the University of Cambridge, out of USD 1.26 trillion that goes into global software development, over USD 156 billion is spent on fixing bugs and ensuring that the code works. Around 50% of the time in SDLC is spent on debugging.

This is where ControlFlag comes in with its ML-powered bug detection, support for most programming languages, compilers, and better decision making. It learns and identifies code that might cause a bug.

In fact, there have already been some instances where ControlFlag has saved the day for developers. One incident narrated by Intel’s Principal AI Scientist Justin Gottschlich in a blog post is, “Last year, ControlFlag identified a code anomaly in Client URL (cURL), a computer software project transferring data using various network protocols over one billion times a day.”

In the same post, he added, “Most recently, ControlFlag achieved state-of-the-art results by identifying hundreds of latent defects related to memory and potential system crash bugs in proprietary production-level software. In addition, ControlFlag found dozens of novel anomalies in several high-quality open-source software repositories.”

Huge Layoffs Incoming For Testers And Debuggers?

Not yet. To be precise, AI still has a long way before it replaces Testers, Debuggers, or any manual labor. But once it does become capable enough, as we said in one of our articles, many people are going to be laid off from their jobs. Sure, AI will also create more jobs, but it’s too soon to comprehend what the future holds for us.

ControlFlag does look like an excellent debugging tool and is definitely great from a business point of view, as over USD 81 billion in software development cost can be saved per year, which is no joke.

The tool’s source code can now be found on GitHub, where you will also find the instructions about how to install and use ControlFlag. So, make sure to check it out.

What are your thoughts about ControlFlag? Let us know in the comments section below.

Abubakar Mohammed

Abubakar Mohammed

Abubakar is a Linux and Tech Writer. Hailing from a Computer Science background, the start of his love for Tech dates back to 2011, when he was gifted a Dell Inspiron 5100. When he's not covering Tech, you'll find him binge-watching anime and Tech content on YouTube or hunting heads in competitive FPS games. You can also find his work on Android Police and How-To Geek.
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