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Google unveils new Bard AI capabilities for coding


Google has unveiled new programming and software development-related features added to its experimental artificial intelligence tool, Bard.

The company has brought capabilities such as “code generation, debugging and code explanation” to Bard. Google spreadsheet formulas have also joined its repertoire, according to Google.

Those new Bard features went live Friday.

Users of the AI chatbot had frequently asked Alphabet-owned Google to incorporate such abilities, prompting the company to do so, according to a Google blog post. The tech giant had previously said it would add them.

Bard’s new ability to explain code may be “particularly helpful” to people new to programming or those needing “some additional support to understand what a block of code might output,” Google said.

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Google noted Bard is “still an early experiment,” saying the chatbot “may sometimes provide inaccurate, misleading or false information while presenting it confidently.”

“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,” the company said. “Always double-check Bard’s responses and carefully test and review code for errors, bugs and vulnerabilities before relying on it.”

Nonetheless, Google said it thinks the new coding features “can help” people with such assignments. 

They will be available for Python, C++, Javascript and over 17 other programming languages, according to the tech giant. 

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The update comes a month after Google expanded how many people it has let start using the chatbot, beginning with more access to U.S. and U.K. users. The tech giant first revealed Bard in February, when initially “trusted testers” only could use it.

In AI, Google has been vying with Microsoft and OpenAI. The latter, which Microsoft has backed, created a popular chatbot, ChatGPT, that has been making headlines in recent months.

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Some companies have started offering features powered by ChatGPT, including ones from Expedia, Snapchat and Salesforce.

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Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in an earnings call on Feb. 2, before Bard had been introduced, that AI was the “most profound” technology the company was working on. He said that Google is “continu[ing] to invest” in AI and that people would “see a lot from us in the coming few months” in that area.



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