: Google says its Bard AI chatbot will now be able to help with coding tasks

Google’s artificial-intelligence chatbot Bard has gotten an upgrade and will now be able to help users with coding tasks.

Bard can now “help with programming and software development tasks, including code generation, debugging and code explanation,” Paige Bailey, a group product manager at Google Research, said in a Friday morning blog post. Coding assistance “has been one of the top requests we’ve received from our users,” she noted.

Bailey said that Bard’s new capabilities will support more than 20 programming languages such as C++, Go, Java, Javascript, Python and Typescript, and the service will be able to explain code snippers to users, a potentially helpful tool for beginners.

Bard can also help people write Google Sheets functions.

While companies like Google and Microsoft Corp.

have been developing AI capabilities for a long time, their efforts are now very much in the spotlight after OpenAI’s ChatGPT chatbot made its public debut last year. That service helped conceptualize the power of AI to a general audience and got the investment community excited about ways that companies big and small can use AI to augment their businesses.

Some prognosticators expect AI to bring massive changes to various industries and change the face of work. Google’s coding-related Bard upgrades hint at the ways AI can help programmers, though AI tools are known to make mistakes, something Google acknowledged in Friday’s blog post.

The AI battle between Google, which is part of Alphabet Inc.

and Microsoft, which counts itself as an investor in OpenAI, is particularly heated.

Google is hugely dominant in the search market, but Microsoft is using AI capabilities to strengthen its rival Bing service. Google rolled out Bard in response to the buzz around ChatGPT, and executives at Google reportedly are looking to develop a new search engine powered by AI.

See more: A mobile search battle between Google and Microsoft may be brewing, and Alphabet’s stock is falling

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