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Google Bard just took a big step toward being a proper ChatGPT rival

The Google Bard AI chatbot can now complete various programming and software development tasks such as code generation, code debugging, and explanation of code.

This was an important missing feature in Bard’s ability to compete with ChatGPT, the most popular AI chatbot right now.

Google Bard
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Google announced the update of Bard on Friday on its blog, stating that it has been one of the primary requests from users since the launch of the AI chatbot in March. Bard can assist with generating, debugging, and explaining over 20 different programming languages including C++, Go, Java, Javascript, Python, and Typescript. It can also export Python code to Google Colab without needing to copy and paste, as well as aid in writing functions for Google Sheets.

Google noted an especially helpful part of the Bard update is its ability to explain parts of code to used, stating it might be helpful for those who are new to programming, or if someone is stuck on a particularly difficult block of code.

When it comes to debugging, if you get an error with Bard, you need only input this code didn’t work, please fix it, and the chatbot will assist in correcting the defective code. Google noted that Bard can even debug code that it developed.

As a project still in its early experimental phase, Google notes that Bard might produce information that is inaccurate, misleading, or false. It encourages users to double-check the chatbot’s responses and test for errors, bugs, and vulnerabilities before using it for any independent works. Even so, the brand is confident that Bard’s new coding capabilities can be beneficial in assisting users in their own projects.

Google said other tips include the prompt could you please make that code faster. Another easy prompt to use is find error handling clauses you might have missed.

Bard was released as Google’s chatbot rival to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, which is also the power behind Microsoft’s Bing chat. While Bard has similar functions to ChatGPT, a report from Bloomberg indicates that some Google employees have little faith in the chatbot and feel that the project was rushed to launch in an effort to compete with OpenAI and Microsoft.

Notably, code debugging and code generation were some of the many interesting tasks users showcased on ChatGPT when the chatbot first became popular. However, the tool has its own challenges, such as high-traffic and capacity issues. OpenAI is also struggling to keep up with the costs that it takes to maintain its operations.

With Google’s latest update of Bard, this could be an opportunity for the brand to grab the attention of those interested in a specific niche of generative AI tools and use the ever-changing landscape to its benefit.

Fionna Agomuoh
Fionna Agomuoh is a technology journalist with over a decade of experience writing about various consumer electronics topics…
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