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InfoQ Homepage News Google Previews Studio Bot, a Coding Bot for Android Development

Google Previews Studio Bot, a Coding Bot for Android Development

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At Google I/O 2023, Google has previewed Studio Bot, an AI-powered coding bot integrated in Android Studio latest version, codenamed Hedgehog. Studio Bot aims to help developers generate code, unit tests, and fix errors.

Google Studio Bot leverages Codey, Google's text-to-code foundational model, also introduced at Google I/O. Codey is based on the latest iteration of PaLM 2, the language model that powers Google's experimental chatbot, Bard, as well as other services, and that Google is positioning as a direct competitor to OpenAI's GPT-4.

Studio Bot is designed for native Android development, says Google, having been trained on a curated set of data representing best practices for Android development. While Studio Bot is integrated in Android Studio, Codey has a more general use model where you can use it via API, or embed it in an SDK or application.

Based on what Google told developers, Studio Bot will not require them to share their source code with Google, but they are suggested to agree to send data about their conversation so the company can better understand how effective the tool is. Additionally, Studio Bot requires users to sign it to their Google accounts in order to be able to use it.

Using Studio Bot developers will be able to ask questions like how to get the current geolocation, how to add camera support to an existing app, what is dark theme, and so on. The tool supports both Java and Kotlin and is able to translate code back and forth. Additionally, it is aware of recent Android technologies like Compose.

Studio Bot is still in its early days, Google warns, and it should be considered an experimental technology. In particular, Google says, it might provide inaccurate or outright false answers while presenting them with total confidence. This also implies that any generated code might not produce the expected result and be low-quality or incomplete. Hence, Google, says, generated code should be validated and possibly adapted before being used in a production context.

Studio Bot enters an arena where developers can count on a number of different tools for AI-based code generation, including GitHub Copilot, OpenAI Codex, and AWS Code Whisperer.

As a final remark, it is worth noting that Studio Bot is only available in the US at the moment.

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