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Navigating the Concrete Jungle of APIDays New York 2024

Kay James, Tenshin Higashi
May 6, 2024 | 5 min read
APIDays NY 2024: Security & AI

A Fusion of Security & AI

“Concrete jungle where dreams are made of…." Alicia Keys once sang about APIs...oh wait, that was about New York. Either way, the most recent APIDays New York conference was chocked full of relevant takeaways focused on the evolving landscape of APIs, encapsulating the critical facets of security, API development, and the burgeoning influence of AI.

Overall, the greatest takeaway was that we’ve entered the era of composable API management. It’s clear now that dev teams want the ability to have multiple gateways and multiple API portals, and having a flexible platform that supports swapping those pieces in and out with ease is paramount.

Some of our favorite presentations shed light on prototype-first development workflows, the art of crafting APIs for optimal user experience, and the session that focused on the subtle nuances of API rate limiting. Plus, the Women in APIs breakfast program is always a favorite. But other than that, here were a few of our team’s favorite takeaways from the event:

API Security Takes Center Stage

API security has remained a prevalent concern, echoing the industry's persistent battle against vulnerabilities and threats–which leaves a great opportunity for the rise of the API gateway. Speakers emphasized the importance of adhering to international security standards, implementing proper authentication and authorization mechanisms, and protecting resources through rate limiting.

Regarding the gateway, it was clear from the conference that many are now looking for a modern, low-footprint, and lightweight API Gateway paired with to support the modularity of their overall API ecosystem platform.

Additionally, the news of an important banking regulation change (CFPB 1033) mentioned during the event has many developers preparing now. The Open Banking Initiative and Personal Financial Data Right changes will soon require a change in the development of new APIs and API policies. Many conference-goers seemed to indicate that regulations will come into effect as soon as this year, 2024, so it’s time for API developers to ensure their APIs adhere to these new standards. If you work in Fintech, you’ll see an increased need for accessible and well-documented APIs in order to comply with regulations and provide a seamless developer experience.

You Can’t Have AI Without the A(P)I

In the realm of AI and API integration, intriguing insights were shared on leveraging AI assistants for API adoption, and the term “OpenAI” has become so buzzy it might as well have grown wings. Not to mention, multiple sessions touched on use cases where developers are utilizing AI code assistants as tools to assist in API adoption.

However, the current risks of AI are still great, but that leaves even more opportunity for API practitioners to shine because AI depends so heavily on APIs. Many in New York emphasize "that you can't have AI without APIs” because AI requires an effective API governance strategy paired with an API Gateway to enforce policies such as the volume of data scales.

Multiple sessions covered two main challenges API practitioners are facing in relation to AI. The first was determinism, meaning that when there are multiple options, and none of them are wrong–AI has trouble discerning this.

The second issue was around hallucinations, which is where AI models have a tendency to make up things that aren’t actually real. Despite these challenges, mindfully and carefully using AI is still an extremely powerful tool. The best practice here was using AI with APIs for dynamic practices, which is still the best. For example, AI can be extremely helpful when learning about APIs and writing use case code. Setting up access codes (like permissions) would be a static practice and AI would not be as powerful. However, with how fast technology is moving–that won’t be the case for long.

Looking ahead to the future of API management, Moreover, many seem to envision AI gateways and generative AI as pivotal catalysts, accentuating the imperative for robust documentation and SDKs to navigate evolving API ecosystems.

See You Next Time–at APIWorld

Overall, the API Days conference provided valuable insights into the evolving landscape of API security, design, management, and the integration of AI. For more insights, check out our podcast or blog. If you want to connect with the Ambassador team at our next API conference, come find us at APIWorld in November!

— Kay James and Tenshin Higashi, Your Favorite NYC Local Ambassador Teammates

Kay and Tenshin at APIDays NY