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AI in software diagramming: What trends will define the future?

·5 mins

Artificial intelligence (AI) tools are changing the way developers work.

We already know that AI can help developers with manual tasks such as code review, testing, and debugging. AI technology is also giving developers a boost when it comes to diagramming, an essential process in communicating the architecture and flow of complex systems.

Mermaid Chart is excited to be on the cutting edge of the intersection of AI and software diagramming. Our platform — built on top of the Mermaid, the award-winning open-source JavaScript library— has integrated various AI tools to help make the process faster, more efficient, and more fun.

Our AI Chatbot and Mermaid Chart GPT are specifically designed to help our users get started quicker, find bugs and errors faster, and generally work smarter.

AI diagramming is advancing at a rapid rate. To help you stay on top of all the news, we’ve compiled four emerging trends to watch in this space. Additionally, we’ll highlight how Mermaid Chart’s AI-enabled tools can supercharge your diagramming workflow.

Create your free Mermaid Chart account to start exploring on your own!

Most of these trends are already gaining steam. They’re sure to dominate the conversations around AI and software diagramming in the near future:

Enhanced automation #

We may anticipate seeing more sophisticated automation in the construction and upkeep of diagrams as AI algorithms continue to advance and change. Graphs generated from codebases will be updated in real-time as the codebase changes, thanks to AI. As a result, the diagrams will always reflect the system’s current state, making them a more trustworthy and practical tool for developers.

Integration with development tools #

AI-powered diagramming will be more tightly integrated with other development tools. For instance, developers have already begun using Integrated Development Environments (IDEs), which in the future could be expanded to help generate diagrams on the fly as developers write code. This gives developers instant visual feedback and aids them in comprehending the impact of their code changes.

Speaking of this, Mermaid Chart is working to ensure that our platform works seamlessly with the most common code platforms and IDEs. That’s why we’ve built our JetBrains IDE Extension — which works with IntelliJ IDEA and siblings such as WebStorm and pystorm — and our Visual Studio Code plugin. Using either of these extensions will help developers embed their Mermaid Chart visuals into their code. Any changes made in Mermaid Chart are automatically reflected in the code.

Improved learning and onboarding #

Diagrams produced by AI may be a valuable tool for training and onboarding. These graphics could help new team members comprehend the system architecture and codebase more rapidly. Similarly, novices and students could benefit from using AI-generated visuals to learn coding principles and best practices.

AI as a collaborator #

More sophisticated AI models, such as ChatGPT, will actively participate in the diagramming process. AI might function as a collaborator instead of merely creating diagrams: offering insights, making suggestions for improvement, and even participating in design discussions. This would increase the value of the graphs by utilizing the AI’s extensive knowledge and analytical skills. More on that in just a second!

Discover Mermaid Chart’s AI tools #

Curious how Mermaid Chart’s AI tools can help you out? Let’s dig a little deeper:

AI Chatbot #

Mermaid Chart’s AI Chatbot — available to Pro users — is embedded into the Mermaid Chart platform as a sort of “virtual assistant.”

The bot helps with essential tasks such as:

  • Starting a diagram: Ask the assistant to start a diagram to give you inspiration
  • Editing a diagram: Refresh your diagram’s layout, colors, and more
  • Repairing a diagram: Get a second pair of eyes if something’s off with your code

Once in the editor, look for the Chat icon on the left sidebar menu. The Chatbot will be at your service for all your diagramming needs!

Mermaid Chart GPT #

Both Free and Paid users with ChatGPT Plus can utilize Mermaid Chart GPT.

Our official GPT allows you to use simple ChatGPT prompts to generate a starting point for your diagram. Users can then navigate directly into Mermaid Chart to fine-tune their diagrams with our code-based editor.

Simply give ChatGPT a prompt that generates a Mermaid diagram. For example, you might say “Create a flowchart showing how to make beer at home,” or “Make a state diagram showing how a lamp works.”

The AI will get you to a starting point, eliminating some of the manual work associated with starting your diagram. Then you’re free to make it your own within Mermaid Chart.

An example of using Mermaid Chart’s AI Chatbot to modify a Mermaid Chart diagram is shown below:

Additional uses of AI #

Two quick-hitters for more AI goodness within Mermaid Chart:

  • There’s a button on the diagrams grid page that will open a modal to generate a diagram
  • Inside the diagram preview panel, there is also a summary field with AI functionality

We all know that AI is here to stay. It’s all about finding ways to make AI work within your workflow. With so much noise out there, it can be hard to sift through the use cases that benefit your process.

That’s why we’ve tried to make Mermaid Chart’s AI functionality available in multiple ways. No matter how you work, there’s an AI tool to help you move more efficiently.

Looking to use AI to help you make effective diagrams more efficiently? Sign up for free with Mermaid Chart.