GitHub’s code-writing AI is now available for all developers

For $10 a month or $100 a year, developers across the world can now use Copilot as predictive text for programming.

GitHub is knocking on the doors of the next big leap in programming by making Copilot, its AI-powered coding assistant, generally available to developers around the world.

Copilot was first revealed in June 2021 as an AI assistant for programmers that essentially does for coding what predictive text does for writing emails.

Developed in collaboration with OpenAI, GitHub had kept Copilot in technical preview until now, during which time the company says it has been used by more than 1.2m developers.

The proportion of total code being written by the AI ​​is on the rise. Last October, GitHub revealed that Copilot was helping write up to 30pc of code on the platform. Now, the Microsoft-owned company says its AI assistant is helping write nearly 40pc of code.

“That’s creating more time and space for developers to focus on solving bigger problems and building even better software,” GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke wrote in a blogpost.

The tool is powered by the OpenAI Codex algorithm, a new AI system that was trained on a large dataset of public source code. OpenAI was founded in 2015 with the aim of ensuring that artificial intelligence “benefits all of humanity”.

Dohmke said this is the first time in the history of software that AI will be “broadly harnessed by developers to write and complete code”.

“Just like the rise of compilers and open source, we believe AI-assisted coding will fundamentally change the nature of software development, giving developers a new tool to write code easier and faster so they can be happier in their lives.”

Following a 60-day free trial, developers can avail of Copilot for either $10 a month or $100 a year. However, GitHub said it is making Copilot free for students and maintainers of popular open source projects. A version of the service for companies is also coming later this year.

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