Stack Overflow opens API to Google’s Gemini

Stack Overflow, the popular question-and-answer portal for developers, has partnered with Google’s cloud computing arm to develop an API that will give Google’s Gemini AI model access to Stack Overflow’s knowledge base.

Dubbed the Overflow API, the new offering will inform Gemini’s coding assistance capabilities for Google Cloud, delivered to developers via the Google Cloud Console. The suggestions made by Gemini will cite Stack Overflow sources, the companies said in a statement.

The Overflow API, which is currently in the development phase, will be previewed at Google’s upcoming Cloud Next conference in April, followed by availability within the first half of 2024.

In addition to benefiting Google by helping Gemini learn more about coding from Stack Overflow’s knowledge base, the partnership will help Stack Overflow maintain its reach to developers at a time when code generation assistants, underpinned by large language models (LLMs), are changing developers’ behavior around researching code.

Stack Overflow itself has been working on adding generative AI capabilities to its platform via the OverflowAI offering, which is likely to be integrated into platforms such as Teams and Slack.

The partnership will also see Google working with the company to add to the AI capabilities of OverflowAI.

Last October, Stack Overflow laid off nearly a third of its workforce in the wake of rising pressure from generative AI-based coding assistants. Prior to that the company had let go of 58 staffers working as UX designers, human resource professionals, product designers, and senior software developers. 

Although Google is the launch partner for the Overflow API, the company is open to working with more companies who want to train their LLMs on its knowledge base and content.

The sharing of data for model training could become a new stream of revenue for the company or provide it leverage to ensure that it is present on platforms wherever developers frequent.

Google and Stack Overflow have not disclosed the financial terms of the partnership.

Google Cloud rivals AWS and Microsoft have their own code generation assistants in the form of Amazon CodeWhisperer and GitHub Copilot.

Other LLMs, though open source, that offer code generation capabilities include the likes of StarCoder2 and Code Llama.

Copyright © 2024 IDG Communications, Inc.

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