GitHub has announced Copilot X, the latest iteration of its original Copilot AI pair programming assistant, complete with new features powered by GPT-4.
Copilot X will see a “ChatGPT-like experience” embedded within Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code, allowing developers to query the AI chat interface to receive in-depth analyses and explanations of what code blocks are aiming to achieve.
The new feature can also provide fixes for bugs, and add extra comments to explain what the code does to other developers.
Copilot voice also features in the latest version of the pair programmer. Similar to Copilot chat, developers will be able to provide voice prompts and the AI will use voice-to-code technology to process queries from within the integrated developer environment (IDE).
Developers can also sign up for a technical preview of AI-generated descriptions for pull requests on the platform.
These will offer the ability for AI-powered tags to be inserted in pull request descriptions. GitHub Copilot will then fill out the tags automatically depending on the changed code, and then developers will be able to review or modify the suggested description.
“This is just the first step we’re taking to rethink how pull requests work on GitHub,” said Thomas Dohmke, CEO at GitHub. “We’re testing new capabilities internally where GitHub Copilot will automatically suggest sentences and paragraphs as developers create pull requests by dynamically pulling in information about code changes.”
Adding to a long list of new features available to Copilot X users, the company is also launching Copilot for docs, a tool using an AI chat interface to answer questions about project documentation.
Starting with documentation for React, Azure Docs, and MDN, users will be able to query the AI to find answers to questions related to languages or the technologies being used.
GitHub is aiming to bring this feature to organisations’ internal documentation, allowing its own developers to use the chat interface to ask about documentation or in-house software in their company.
“Even though this model was just released, we’re already seeing significant gains in logical reasoning and code generation,” said Dohmke. “With GPT-4, the state of AI is beginning to catch up with our ambition to create an AI pair programmer that assists with every development task at every point in the developer experience.”
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“This is just the start of our work with GPT-4, and we’ll continue to work with OpenAI to improve its functionality for developers,” added the company.
GitHub revealed that Copilot is currently being used by more than 1 million developers and more than 5,000 businesses. It’s helped developers code up to 55% faster and is writing up to 46% of projects' code, according to figures taken from the Copilot for Business edition in February.
“With AI available at every step, we can fundamentally redefine developer productivity,” said Dohmke. “We are reducing boilerplate and manual tasks and making complex work easier across the developer lifecycle. By doing so, we’re enabling every developer to focus all their creativity on the big picture: building the innovation of tomorrow, accelerating human progress, today.”
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Zach Marzouk is a former ITPro, CloudPro, and ChannelPro staff writer, covering topics like security, privacy, worker rights, and startups, primarily in the Asia Pacific and the US regions. Zach joined ITPro in 2017 where he was introduced to the world of B2B technology as a junior staff writer, before he returned to Argentina in 2018, working in communications and as a copywriter. In 2021, he made his way back to ITPro as a staff writer during the pandemic, before joining the world of freelance in 2022.