For the past year, it seems like every other day there's a new AI-powered tool being released. Not sure how everyone else is feeling but for me it started to feel a bit overwhelming after the excitement over the possibilities.
For those out there who have started looking for some AI-powered tools to try out, I thought I'd give a list of some that I've been using and have found to be helpful.
Given I write code for a living, Github Copilot has been one of the biggest changes to my toolkit and I'd say it's worth every penny of what they're charging (especially when paired with Github Copilot Chat).
Some of the benefits I've experienced since adopting it:
- code refactoring is done much faster;
- boilerplate code can be automatically generated or autocompleted; and
- regular expressions are automatically generated.
You'll still want to keep a close eye on the code it suggests as it uses what it sees in your project as the basis for some of the suggestions it makes. If you wrote incorrect code in several places, it will suggest the same pattern because it assumes that was your intent.
I suspect that Copilot Chat is going to be the first port of call going forward when looking for help rather than Stack Overflow because instead of having to go through multiple versions of my question in Stack Overflow and try the different answers, I just ask Copilot. The answers it gives are sometimes overly generic, but for the most part, the answers have been incredibly helpful, and also factor in the context (my project) in which I'm asking.
If you write code for a living, you should seriously consider adopting this and see if you can expense it with your company. It's definitely saving me more than $20 USD of my time every month.
If you write a lot you've probably heard about Grammarly already, but I wanted to give this a shout-out given they've recently incorporated generative AI into their product.
I've found their AI functionality to be great for brainstorming and for seeing examples of how to convey information in different tones (casual, professional, etc.). Coupled with their tooling around removing redundant words and grammar correction it has felt like my writing has been slowly improving over time.
Given our increasing reliance on written communication in our remote/hybrid work world, I'd consider adopting it (even if it's just the free tier) if you write a lot of technical specs or do a lot of communicating with various folks across your organization or with external clients.
Less of a day-to-day work tool for me and more of a personal one. I've been wanting to add nice images to my blog posts for a while. I couldn't find stock images that I liked and found I was spending more time looking for images rather than writing so I ended up opting to not add images.
After seeing Zack Proser's images for his blog posts (which are incredible) and reading his post about running your own tech blog where he talks about using AI to generate his images, I started looking around again.
Still early days but I'm giving Leonardo.ai a try right now because it has a small daily quota of images it can generate on the free tier. You'll probably see different styles of art on posts as I keep trying things out.
Hopping on the AI-powered bandwagon
AI has massive potential to change the way we work for the better and I'm starting to experience that firsthand. A lot of the things it's currently helping me with are redundant tasks or complicated ones that are easy for humans to get wrong but easy for a computer to do right.
I'm not planning on using every new AI-powered tool out there just yet, but consider me officially on the bandwagon.