Google updated its Bard generative AI chatbot to help coders with programming and software development tasks as it attempts to one up Microsoft-backed OpenAI platform ChatGPT.

Paige Bailey, group product manager for Google Research, explained in a blog that Bard is capable of coding across 20 programming languages including C++, Go, Java, JavaScript, Python and TypeScript.

It can also help explain code snippets to users, which Bailey stated will be helpful if a writer is learning about programming for the first time, or needed help understanding what a particuar block might output.

Bailey noted Bard could also optimise code to make it faster or more efficient by using simple, direct prompts.

She cautioned Bard is still an early experiment which “may sometimes provide inaccurate, misleading or false information while presenting it confidently”.

Bailey added users should “double-check Bard’s responses and carefully test and review code for errors, bugs and vulnerabilities before relying on it”.