Google on Friday announced that the company’s artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot “Bard” can now help developers with programming and software development tasks, such as code generation, debugging, and code explanation.
“Today, we’re updating Bard with the ability to help people with programming and software development tasks, including code generation, code debugging, and explanation,” said Google Research’s product lead, Paige Bailey, in a blog post
Bailey further said that since Google launched Bard, coding has been one of the top requests they’ve received from users. “As a product lead in Google Research — and a passionate engineer who still programs every day — I’m excited that today we’re updating Bard to include that capability.”
Besides generating code, Bard can help explain code snippets — a helpful feature for individuals who are new to programming and can help with debugging code, even code that it wrote. The company said developers could write “This code didn’t work, please fix it,” and Bard will help debug. Additionally, Bard also has the capability to optimize code and make it faster or more efficient by utilizing uncomplicated prompts like “Could you make that code faster?”
Google acknowledges that its AI, Bard is still an early experiment therefore there is a chance of it getting things wrong while presenting them confidently. Bailey cautions, “When it comes to coding, Bard may give you working code that doesn’t produce the expected output, or provide you with code that is not optimal or incomplete.”
“Always double-check Bard’s responses and carefully test and review code for errors, bugs, and vulnerabilities before relying on it.”
Google however insists that despite these challenges, “we believe Bard’s new capabilities can help you by offering new ways to write code, create test cases, or update APIs.”
“If Bard quotes from an existing open source project at length, it will cite the source.”
Like ChatGPT and Bing, Bard is powered by a research large language model (LLM), specifically “a lightweight and optimized version” of Google’s own LaMDA model.