Stack Overflow has announced that it is working on introducing generative AI chatbots to its systems. The initial target of the chatbots is Stack Overflow for Teams.
Stack Overflow on Generative AI
In a blog post published by Stackoverflow CEO Prashanth Chandrasekar, the leader says that in order to adapt to the improved AI technology, the Q&A platform has no option but to embrace AI.
Stack Overflow notes that with improved AI technology, some steps need to be made, otherwise, their role in the community will over time be rendered useless as AI Chatbots can quickly and easily generate answers that a human can. This comes after Similarweb published an analysis showing that Stack Overflow traffic had decreased by 14% in March while ChatGPT and GitHub CoPilot gained.
StackOverflow’s future plans with AI
Stackoverflow CEO says that they are working on adding Generative AI to Stack Overflow which will be launched in the summer. He believes that with massive knowledge of over 50 million asked questions, Stackoverflow is in the best position to build a superior AI chatbot for programming answers.
The CEO adds that if AI tools like ChatGPT are allowed to continue using open-source code and data developers have created for free but require users to pay to use the AI Chatbots for answers, then it may lead to the tragedy of commons (overconsumption, underinvestment and then depletion of knowledge). This, therefore, persuades Stack Overflow to develop an AI alternative that benefits everyone instead of leaving it to tech monopolies to continue maximizing profits out of developers’ work.
Developers’ Worries with AI
On the worries developers have with AI, Stackoverflow CEO equates the growth of AI tools with the introduction of tractors in the 19th century. When tractors were introduced, millions of farm workers lost their jobs, but in the long run, it led to increased food production with less input and other benefits to society. Those who lost their jobs had to ultimately appreciate the benefits of using tractors for performing farm tasks and look for other income-generating opportunities.
The reference to tractors I presume suggests that resistance to technological change is not something new. With time, innovations do overcome organized hostility to change. The earlier developers embrace AI technologies and find ways to co-exist with them, the better their chances of becoming part of their success.
Although Stack Overflow had earlier banned the use of ChatGPT-generated answers on its platforms, it now appreciates that banning only is not enough and is asking experienced developers to embrace AI technology if they want to remain competitive.