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Can ChatGPT Write My Release Notes 🤔

Artificial Intelligence has changed our lives, and how! The launch of ChatGPT by OpenAI has attracted many professionals and indicated the potential to transform industries across the spectrum. This interest is also palpable amongst software developers. Developers have already started trying ChatGPT for code debugging, generating code snippets, and even conducting research.

AI systems typically ingest large volumes of labeled data, analyze it for any patterns and then use these correlations to predict future scenarios. Chatbots work on the same principle and develop realistic interactions based on the text chats fed to them.

When used effectively, AI tools like ChatGPT can help software developers maximize their output and expedite tasks that are not their core expertise, such as writing release notes.
Changes to a product, i.e. new features, enhancements to existing features, and bug fixes, are communicated via release notes. Is it possible that ChatGPT or any other AI tool will eventually help me write my release notes – well, that’s what we try to answer here.

We don’t want to beat around the bush, let us see what ChatGPT has to say about this.

ChatGPT_release_notes.jpg

Now let us expand onto the response ChatGPT gave us.

How to use ChatGPT effectively (for release notes)?

Release notes are an essential marketing tool to keep customers abreast of the progress of a product. Compiling release notes is a repetitive task that is detail-oriented and involves analyzing large amounts of data, contextual knowledge & at times, domain expertise as well. AI tools and chatbots can make release notes writing faster, efficient & more accurate to give developers more time for other functions.

The effectiveness of an AI tool like ChatGPT mainly depends on the kind of prompts given to it. The prompts must be specific when writing release notes to get the most accurate results. You can even choose the tone in which release notes should be written by the AI keeping in mind your audience and users. With the right prompts and questions, ChatGPT can help you write your first draft or revise the first draft to make it better.

Here's how ChatGPT can help streamline and expedite the process of writing release notes:

Quickly come up with a first draft

With a gross simplification, it is justified to say that release notes are essentially a summary of the feature specifications or requirement documents. Of course, you will need to use an expert writer to convert them into something that is more targeted & engaging. But, they are still ‘a summarized or rewritten version’. That’s your default prompt. If you are facing a writer’s block, give that input to the AI tool & ask it to give you release notes in a specific tone, within set number of words. Bingo! You’ve got your first draft of the release notes.  Not only these, you can even think about feeding help center articles or marketing blog posts related to the new feature or changes to be fed into the ChatGPT prompt.

This is one of the ways, AI can save the development team a lot of time and effort that would have gone into coming up with the first draft of release notes.

However, developers must understand that the quality of release notes coming from the AI is fairly dependent on the specific inputs provided by them.

Revise the first draft to make it better

If the specs are too lengthy & technical, the AI tool that you use may not be able to give you the best version of release notes. In that case, it is better to come up with a first draft on your own. But don’t make the mistake of not running this draft by ChatGPT, your editor friend.

Just input the release notes you jotted down & ask the tool to rewrite or rephrase them for your target audience, in a specific tone. And again, homerun!

This use case is especially useful for the software development teams where the products involved are too technical & the development team does not have the expertise to come up with well written release notes on their own. What’s more, this can also help developers improve the linguistic & grammatical accuracy of the release notes text.

Work in progress

Over the years, developers have benefitted immensely from technological advancements, and artificial intelligence has opened up new frontiers. It has brought technology within reach of a wider set of people, not just engineers. Thanks to AI assistants and chatbots like ChatGPT, machine intelligence is now more accessible. This can help with the process of creating release notes and much more.

Let's go back to the original question we raised at the beginning of this article, "Can ChatGPT write my release notes?" The answer to that is a resounding yes! ChatGPT is an amazing AI tool that can help you create or revise the release notes. Moreover, it can do it faster and in less time than human applications. It can help lay the foundation of your release notes and augment the entire process. You will surely get a headstart with ChatGPT, but you will still need the knowledge, the expertise, the critical thinking, and the collaboration to finalize your release notes.

ChatGPT & artificial intelligence itself is work in progress, and it is just a matter of time before we see the value additions coming from them in the software development & technical writing space.

Exciting times ahead!

6 comments

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Halyna Kudlak _SaaSJet_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
February 16, 2023

Thanks, @Anand Inamdar_Amoeboids, for sharing this article.
While ChatGPT can be a helpful tool, human input and oversight are still essential to ensure the accuracy and effectiveness of the notes. It's great to see AI can be combined with human expertise to streamline and improve the release notes writing process.

Like Anand Inamdar_Amoeboids likes this
Jim Gilliam February 16, 2023

Anand, great article! I've been extremely impressed with ChatGPT so far.  If the AI bot could import a worksheet (like CSV or Excel) where the content is in columns, that might make getting the ticket details into the AI bot faster and more reliable.

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Anand Inamdar_Amoeboids
Rising Star
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February 16, 2023

@Halyna Kudlak _SaaSJet_ yes. We think role of humans in this case becomes more pronounced as they need to keep the 'generic (& at times, erroneous) information' at bay.

Thanks @Jim Gilliam . Great idea. But how would you ensure that release notes authors are not 'blindly' going with ChatGPT's version of the release notes?

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Nic Brough -Adaptavist-
Community Leader
Community Leader
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March 9, 2023

No.

It's horrid.  Whilst it can work for some basic stuff, it fails, and fails hard, at specialist subjects

The Atlassian Community has banned three people who have tried to hook up a crap AI to it, and even today, I've hit a fourth trying it on.

It's not that the AIs are making bad posts, it is that they are wrong.

Keeperme
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Those new to the Atlassian Community have posted less than three times. Give them a warm welcome!
June 6, 2024

I've seen devs dive into using it for everything from debugging to research. As for release notes, AI tools definitely hold promise. ChatGPT, for instance, can churn out some pretty solid drafts once it's trained on your style and preferences.

Anand Inamdar_Amoeboids
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June 6, 2024

You said that right @Keeperme - "ChatGPT, for instance, can churn out some pretty solid drafts once it's trained on your style and preferences"

Based on our experience, AI is a super enabler for bypassing the 'Writer's block'. Starting with a decent quality draft, does go a long way. But if teams ended up using the 'drafts' as final versions, that would harm their release notes quality severely.

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