Google is seeking to patent a system that uses artificial intelligence (AI) to automate certain aspects of computer programming. The tool would watch a programmer write code and make suggestions for edits or tools in real time. By tracking changes made to the source code, the system can identify repeated changes and determine the programmer’s intent. It then searches repositories of source code transformations and tools created by other programmers to find the best fit for the job. This automation would help eliminate repetitive tasks and improve coding efficiency.
The proposed technology fills a gap in existing coding tools, which can be cumbersome to create and may not scale outside of specific contexts. Google’s system aims to be a versatile tool that can assist with various programming tasks. The company has been actively developing AI capabilities across its products and services, including integration with Google Workspace and enhancing its search engine.
While Google’s AI-assisted development tools show promise, they face competition from existing products like GitHub Copilot and OpenAI’s Code Interpreter. The market for AI-assisted coding is expected to become highly competitive, potentially leading to legal battles over patents.
If Google’s technology becomes available to developers, it could have a significant impact on software development. The large language model used in the system would likely excel at managing software repositories compared to even highly skilled programmers. Implementing this tool as a co-pilot for programming teams could accelerate software development while reducing complexity.
Google’s patent filing suggests its intention to develop a suite of AI-based development tools. While there are potential legal challenges ahead, if successful, these tools could revolutionize coding practices by automating repetitive tasks and providing valuable assistance throughout the development process.