Stack Overflow, a site that helps programmers with coding problems has suffered a steady decrease in traffic on its page since January, possibly as a result of the rise of artificial intelligence(AI) coding assistants such as ChatGPT.

Platforms Losing Users to AI

One of the first places millions of developers turn to when they run into a coding problem or forget the proper syntax or arguments for simple tasks is Stack Overflow which is a question-and-answer website that provides a community for programmers.

The platform allows developers to ask and respond to questions on a wide range of programming-related topics and the source code that is linked to the questions and answers on the platform is useful to them as they can duplicate it or learn from it.

However, another way to get this kind of assistance is through pop-up help in editors like Visual Studio Code, and in recent years, thanks to the use of AI and the introduction of services like Copilot, AWS CodeWhisperer, and most recently, Google Bard, the quality and scope of this coding help has significantly improved.

As a result, instead of asking other developers on Stack Overflow for assistants, programmers have continued to turn to AI assistants first.

According to statistics from SimilarWeb, a web traffic analysis company, “traffic to Stack Overflow has been down by an average of 6% every month since January 2022 and was down 13.9% in March”.

Additionally, continued monitoring of the platform shows that between March and April, there has been a 17.75% decrease in activity from 258 million to 212.2 million site visits.

The web traffic analysis firm additionally states that part of the reduction in traffic could be caused by CoPilot, GitHub’s AI helper, though users may also be using the more popular ChatGPT to assist with code debugging, much like they normally would with forum discussions on Stack Overflow.

Microsoft released Copilot for public preview for the first time in June 2021 after which it went on to make it freely accessible in June 2022 similar to AWS’ CodeWhisperer, whereas Google’s Bard introduced code generation barely two months ago.

Community Meets AI

Stack Overflow’s director of communications, Matt Trocchio, said that while traffic to Stack Overflow had been impacted, the situation is similar to what other sites are facing amid increased interest in ChatGPT and related chatbots. However, the company sees generative AI as a significant opportunity.

“Approximately 10% of our company is working on features and applications leveraging GenAI that have the potential to increase engagement within our public community and add value to customers of our SaaS product, Stack Overflow for Teams; early previews of that work have been positively received by both the community and customers,” he revealed.

The platform’s CEO, Prashanth Chandrasekar, also announced that they were working on Stack Overflow for teams which would be a private and pay-to-access version of the site. “We will have more to announce this summer and we’re excited about what’s ahead,” Trocchio said.

Facing a similar problem is Chegg, a platform that connects college students with help for their homework and assignments, particularly for STEM courses. While Chegg functions like Stack Overflow where students have to wait for others to answer their questions, ChatGPT offers instant answers.

The platform has been facing a drop in student visits as well and it recently disclosed in an earnings call that ChatGPT was to blame for the company’s declining sales and share price.

“In the first part of the year, we saw no noticeable impact from ChatGPT on our new account growth and we were meeting expectations on new sign-ups,” Chegg CEO Dan Rosensweig said earlier this month.

“However, since March we saw a significant spike in student interest in ChatGPT. We now believe it’s having an impact on our new customer growth rate,” he added.

A new era of AI-based information-seeking and learning will certainly dawn as AI models like ChatGPT continue to advance and have a greater impact on established online discussion boards and learning environments.

Related articles:

What's the Best Crypto to Buy Now?

  • B2C Listed the Top Rated Cryptocurrencies for 2023
  • Get Early Access to Presales & Private Sales
  • KYC Verified & Audited, Public Teams
  • Most Voted for Tokens on CoinSniper
  • Upcoming Listings on Exchanges, NFT Drops