Google's Bard Gets New Coding Capabilities

Google's Bard Gets New Coding Capabilities
Image Credit: Google

Google today announced a significant update to its conversational AI chatbot, Bard, expanding its capabilities to include programming and software development tasks. While Bard has been playing catch-up to other AI-driven code generation tools, such as Microsoft's Bing Chat and OpenAI's ChatGPT, this latest update signals Google's determination to narrow the gap.

Since it's release in limited capacity last month, Bard has been assisting early adopters with everyday tasks, ranging from crafting presentations to planning workout routines. With the introduction of coding capabilities, Bard now supports over 20 programming languages, including widely-used options like C++, Java, JavaScript, Python, and TypeScript. Google has also integrated seamless Python code export to Google Colab, in an effort to further streamline the development process.

Bard's new features include code generation, code explanation, and debugging assistance. We asked Bard about it's latest capability and it gave us some additional context about the update. According to Bard, it was recently updated to version 1.0.1 and that included:

  1. A larger dataset of code to train on, including code from GitHub repositories, Stack Overflow, and other public sources.
  2. New algorithms for generating and debugging code.
  3. A new interface for interacting with Bard for coding tasks.
The update allows me to generate code in over 20 programming languages, including C++, Go, Java, JavaScript, Python, and TypeScript. I can also debug code, help you write functions for Google Sheets, and export Python code to Google Colab. - Bard

While this is a welcomed development, it is essential to remember that Bard, like other language models in its category, is still an early experiment. Google cautions users to "Always double-check Bard’s responses and carefully test and review code for errors, bugs, and vulnerabilities before relying on it."

In addition to the coding capabilities, the update also brings improvements to the variety and quality of drafts generated by Bard. The enhanced draft options now display a wider range of distinct choices, allowing users to explore more creative possibilities.

With the addition of coding capabilities, Google says it aims to accelerate software development, inspire innovation, and help users solve complex engineering challenges. As more AI-powered code generation tools emerge and existing ones improve, the software development landscape will undoubtedly continue to evolve. As Google works to catch up with Microsoft's Bing Chat and OpenAI's ChatGPT, the competition is bound to lead to further advancements and innovations in the field of AI-driven code generation.

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