OpenAI Partners with StackOverflow for Better Responses to Developers

StackOverflow is a leading community of technical users, developers, programmers, and other specialists. ChatGPT can now access all this forum data via an API.

This is not akin to training. Most probably, ChatGPT is already trained on heaps of data from the larger Stack Exchange network, of which StackOverflow is the biggest and most well-known forum. The community has been up for 15 years, sees a question every 14 seconds, and has a total of 58 million questions and answers.

Using the API of the StackOverflow network, ChatGPT now has access to this pool of questions and answers. The idea is to make its responses more accurate and practical as far as programming and coding are concerned. StackOverflow mainly specializes in JavaScript, Python, Java, C#, PHP, Android development, HTML, jQuery, C++, CSS, iOS development, SQL, MySQL, R, and React.js. Questions can also be about programming concepts such as arrays or databases and about software such as WordPress, Oracle, or Linux.

For any LLM, it’s super-important to be trained on UGC (user-generated content). That’s why data from Twitter and Reddit is so precious, even though everyone knows bias can be found everywhere. It’s so much better to take a site like LinkedIn, Quora, or Medium to tokenize data for training and then fine-tune the model to avoid bias, controversial opinions, or offensive and harmful content. This is the juicy stuff of the internet that can be mined easily for training chatbots.

StackOverflow’s content is likely already used as part of the training of the GPT models as well as all other major models. This direct API connection between ChatGPT and StackOverflow kind of improves that. Now, the chatbot can query the technical Q&A forum quickly on a per-query basis.

The official announcement on StackOverflow’s side says that OpenAI gets access to OverflowAPI to improve the performance of its responses for developers, enhance content, and provide attribution. On the other hand, StackOverflow will get OpenAI’s help to build its OverflowAI platform, a collective push by the forum platform to open its doors to businesses and teams with IDE integration and other features, which will now be partly powered by ChatGPT.

When AI first boomed, StackOverflow’s content was most likely being used to train ChatGPT, which was regurgitating code that wasn’t exactly functional (earlier GPT models), then said code was being used in answers on the StackOverflow website, and finally OpenAI was mining all that bad programming back, creating a self-sustaining loop. From there to this partnership, we’ve truly come a long way.

Notably, StackOverflow has also partnered with Google Cloud and Gemini.

By Abhimanyu

Unwrapping the fast-evolving AI popular culture.