Artificial Intelligence

Google Bard introduces new features for generating and debugging code

Google really wants developers using Bard.
By Cecily Mauran  on 
Bard AI chatbot on a smartphone in front the Google logo
New Google Bard features are catered towards programmers. Credit: Getty Image

Google's AI chatbot Bard now comes with features to help developers write code.

In a blog post(opens in a new tab) on Friday, Google announced new capabilities for its generative AI tool including code generation, debugging, and explanations of code for beginners.

Amidst fierce competition from OpenAI's ChatGPT and Microsoft's Bing Chat, the new features align with similar programming capabilities offered by its rivals.

Bard's code generation works with over 20 different languages, including C++, Go, Java, Javascript, Python and Typescript. Additionally, it can help debug codes written by the user or Bard itself. By sharing the error message, Bard will help you troubleshoot the problem. For new programmers, you can share code snippets and Bard will give you a breakdown of the coding language and what that block of code does.

The explosion of rival generative AI tools has caught Google uncharacteristically on the back foot. After declaring a "code red"(opens in a new tab) in response to the November 2022 launch of ChatGPT, Google hastily launched Bard despite internal concerns that it wasn't ready. Former and current members of Google's safety and ethics teams have reported being sidelined by the tech giant's new priority to launch consumer-facing AI tools.

In the blog post announcing the new coding features, Google is quick to point out that Bard is an experiment. It may confidently give you false or misleading information.

"Always double-check Bard’s responses and carefully test and review code for errors, bugs and vulnerabilities before relying on it," said Paige Bailey, group product manager for Google Research.

Mashable Image
Cecily Mauran

Cecily is a tech reporter at Mashable who covers AI, Apple, and emerging tech trends. Before getting her master's degree at Columbia Journalism School, she spent several years working with startups and social impact businesses for Unreasonable Group and B Lab. Before that, she co-founded a startup consulting business for emerging entrepreneurial hubs in South America, Europe, and Asia. You can find her on Twitter at @cecily_mauran(opens in a new tab).

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