GitHub and OpenAI have launched a technical preview of a new AI tool called Copilot, which lives inside the Visual Studio Code editor and autocompletes code snippets.
AI-powered pair programmer that collaborates with people on their software development projects, suggesting lines or entire functions as the coder types.
GitHub Copilot integrates directly with Visual Studio Code. You can install it as an extension or use it in the cloud with GitHub Codespaces. Over time, the service should improve based on how you interact with GitHub Copilot. As you accept and reject suggestions, those suggestions should get better.
The new GitHub and Copilot feature also leans heavily on a collaboration with OpenAI, the AI research company that GitHub parent Microsoft invested $1 billion in last year (more info). Copilot, though, uses a new AI system called OpenAI Codex, which is touted as “significantly more capable than GPT-3 in code generation,” according to a GitHub blog on 29th June.
In order to figure out what you’re currently coding, GitHub and openai Copilot tries to parse the meaning of a comment, the name of the function you are writing, or the past couple of lines. The company shows a few demos on its website
It is worth noting that GitHub Copilot is not designed to write code on behalf of the developer; it’s more about helping developers by understanding their intent. GitHub also gives no guarantees that the code it generates will even work, as it doesn’t test the code. This means that it may not compile properly. So there are some risks, but it’s still very early days for Copilot.
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