Community Search

A vision of how Stack Overflow’s search and question asking could evolve and provide you with instant summarized solutions, aggregated by GenAI, with the option to ask follow-up questions in a chat-like format.

Last updated September 13, 2023
ProductStack Overflow

Currently you have to do the work of finding and piecing together your solutions or get to the stage where you know enough to know how to ask the community for help. Searching and parsing through all of that information can be time consuming.

We envision a new way where GenAI technology reduces the time it takes you to articulate your question or problem, and then find a relevant solution.

Semantic search technology can quickly source knowledge from a multitude of community-validated, accurate sources and summarize a possible answer, solution, or solutions.

You may need a solution that’s more personalized, based on the context you are working in, so you can ask follow-up questions in a conversational format, querying the community-validated sources for even more personalized results and refining or clarifying your question along the way.

With this new search and question asking experience, Stack Overflow users can receive instant, trust-worthy and accurate solutions to problems aggregated by GenAI.

Why do this?

Improved search and question-asking means you get to a solution faster by reducing the need to bounce between 3-4 answers that are related before getting to the right solution.

Solutions can be summarized within a single search prompt.

Need more details? Just ask the system for more information using a conversational interface

Feature set

  • Trusted sources: Provides sources and attribution for all summaries - you can trust where the knowledge came from
  • Personalization: Ability to configure preferences (answer length, technical level)
  • Continual improvement: Feedback to support reinforcement learning and improve the summaries
  • Learn faster: Suggested follow up questions to continue the conversation for deeper insights

* Concepts are mock ups and not actual AI generated content

About Labs

Since 2008 Stack Overflow has pioneered open source conversations in the technology community, helping us become the most visited, most trusted destination for developers in the world. In 2017, we unleashed the same productivity gains inside companies with Stack Overflow for Teams.

Knowledge sharing between peers and experts is fundamental to software development ‒ you can see it happening in Slack, in meetings, or quick hangs. Advances in technology, like GenAI, puts everyone in learning mode and knowledge sharing is at the core of that experience.

Stack Overflow for Teams sits at the very intersection of curiosity and innovation, a place to ask & answer your peers’ questions, learn from other experts within the company, and keep up with ‒ or be the driver of ‒ all new developments.

Our guiding principles

Find new ways to give technologists more time to create amazing things.
Accuracy is fundamental. That comes from attributed, peer-reviewed sources that provide transparency.
The coding field should be accessible to all, including beginners to advanced users.
Humans should always be included in the application of any new technology.

With these in mind, starting over the next few months, we will be sharing our ideas, opinions, designs, research and product ideas which combine emerging technologies with our platforms and services.