Project IDX

Google’s New Project IDX Brings Generative AI to Web-Based Software Coding

Google showcased its latest generative AI project this week with its new Project IDX, a software coding environment available on the web. Project IDX incorporates Google’s generative AI coding assistant Codey, powered by its PaLM 2 large language model, helping developers create apps for the web and other platforms in multiple forms and programming languages.

Project IDX

Project IDX is what’s known as an integrated development environment (IDE). Google employed its open-source Visual Studio Code as the foundation. The developers then augmented the IDE with Codey,  providing a chatbot for writing and editing code to match the user’s goals, decipher existing code, and offer additional actions. Project IDX includes half a dozen framework options, including Flutter, Next.js, and React, and can code in JavaScript and Dart. Additional languages like Go and Python are coming to the service soon.

“We spend a lot of time writing code, and recent advances in AI have created big opportunities to make that time more productive. With Project IDX, we’re exploring how Google’s innovations in AI — including the Codey and PaLM 2 models powering Studio Bot in Android Studio, Duet in Google Cloud and more — can help you not only write code faster, but also write higher-quality code,” Project IDX developers Bre Arder, Kirupa Chinnathambi, Ashwin Raghav Mohan Ganesh, Erin Kidwell, and Roman Nurik explained in a blog post. “Our AI capabilities are in their very early days, and we’re working on making IDX AI even better at helping you as you work.”

Codey is Google’s answer to the growing popularity of AI coding assistants. GitHub Copilot, Amazon’s CodeWhisperer, and Hugging Face’s Starcoder all offer variations on the theme of a tool that can reduce the time and cost of software development. A GitHub survey of developers showed a lot of enthusiasm for its Copilot’s ability to streamline some of the tedious, necessary parts of coding and free up time for more of the creative aspects, something that presumably would apply to Project IDX and Codey as well.

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