Google's AI Chatbot Can Now Help You Code

Bard can help write and debug code. But Google warns the AI tool won't always get it right.

Carrie Mihalcik Former Managing Editor / News
Carrie was a managing editor at CNET focused on breaking and trending news. She'd been reporting and editing for more than a decade, including at the National Journal and Current TV.
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Since being released in March, Google's AI chatbot Bard has been able to help you with everything from writing poetry to planning a vacation. Now the AI tool has a new skill: coding. Bard can help with "programming and software development tasks, including code generation, debugging and code explanation," Google said in a blog post Friday.

Bard will be able to work with more than 20 popular programming languages, Google said, and can also help write functions for Google Sheets. The ability to code has been one of the top requests from people using Bard, Google said. 

With Bard's new coding skills, Google is playing some catch up compared with rival AI chatbots. OpenAI's ChatGPT has had the ability to write software since it launched late last year. Microsoft's new Bing, which is powered by the same tech behind ChatGPT, also has the ability to write code. 

Google on Friday cautioned that Bard is still an experiment and could produce code that's incomplete or doesn't produce the expected outcome. If you're using Bard to code, you should always double-check the AI tool's responses and "carefully test and review code for errors, bugs and vulnerabilities before relying on it," Google said. 

If you want to try out Bard, CNET explains how you can sign up to get access to the AI chatbot. For now, it's available only to people in the US and UK.

Editors' note: CNET is using an AI engine to create some personal finance explainers that are edited and fact-checked by our editors. For more, see this post.