Microsoft Reveals New AI Features That Make Coding Easier

A new OpenAI-powered feature turns plain language into code

Microsoft’s investment in OpenAI is paying off; the company has introduced its first GPT-3-powered feature, which allows users to code using conversational language.

Microsoft announced the new feature at its Build developers conference, noting that it will allow for more natural language to be used when creating code for productivity-based applications. Engadget reports the new system is being integrated into Power Apps and will use GPT-3’s expansive language model to make creating code much easier for programmers.

A man codes on a laptop

Rohane Hamilton / EyeEm / Getty

Created by OpenAI, GPT-3 is considered the next generation of apps and is capable of creating content that looks like it was written by a human. Microsoft previously licensed the language model after investing $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019. GPT-3 also happens to be the largest model ever created, which is part of what makes it so effective at transforming conversational text lines into Power Fx formulas—the coding language used by Microsoft’s Power Apps.

While Power Apps focuses mostly around creating business-focused productivity apps, Microsoft believes that the new feature will be essential at helping new and developing coders grow and expand their own expertise in the industry because of how easy it makes coding. Instead of having to learn all of the in-depth coding formulas that Power Apps uses, developers can simply type in plain language to have the AI system suggest coding formulas. 

For example, Microsoft says the fine-tuned GPT-3 model can take sentences like “find products where the name starts with 'kids,'” and then it will transform that sentence into a Power Fx formula that developers can easily add to their apps. 

This is the first implementation that Microsoft has released that shows how GPT-3 can expand the accessibility and opportunities available on Microsoft Azure with Azure Machine leaning. 

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