Main image of article Google Bard Boosts Its Coding Ability

Google’s Bard chatbot is improving its coding capabilities.

According to Google’s blog posting on the matter, “a new technique called ‘implicit code execution’ helps Bard detect computational prompts and run code in the background. As a result, it can respond more accurately to mathematical tasks, coding questions and string manipulation prompts.” 

The whole blog posting is worth reading, as it delves into the vulnerabilities of the large language models (LLMs) that power the current generation of chatbots, as well as the nature of intelligence itself. But even with these improvements, Google cautions, Bard can still make critical mistakes: “For example, Bard might not generate code to help the prompt response, the code it generates might be wrong or Bard may not include the executed code in its response. With all that said, this improved ability to respond with structured, logic-driven capabilities is an important step toward making Bard even more helpful.”

Will chatbots’ increasing ability to code fundamentally change the nature of many software developer and engineer jobs? Some pundits think that code automation will ultimately benefit tech professionals by allowing them to focus more on the creative, interesting parts of the job, while others believe that platforms like ChatGPT could eliminate at least some human positions.

“The good news is that worker displacement from automation has historically been offset by creation of new jobs, and the emergence of new occupations following technological innovations accounts for the vast majority of long-run employment growth,” mentioned a recent report by Goldman Sachs. “The combination of significant labor cost savings, new job creation, and higher productivity for non-displaced workers raises the possibility of a productivity boom that raises economic growth substantially, although the timing of such a boom is hard to predict.”

We’ve already seen the emergence of automation-powered tech jobs such as “prompt engineer.” The big question now is whether existing coding jobs will change in some fundamental way. Fortunately, many tech jobs are much more than just coding—they also involve everything from problem-solving and project management to teamwork. If you want to “future proof” your job, investing in these very human skillsets is a good way to ensure you’ll continue to have your share of opportunities.