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GitHub Copilot AI coding assistant due this summer

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GitHub Copilot, the controversial AI-driven coding assistant that suggests lines of code or functions based on what the user has typed into their code editor, will be generally available for developers later this summer, Microsoft announced on May 24.

GitHub Copilot is available as an extension for Visual Studio Code, Neovim, and JetBrains IDEs.

In a preview mode since last year, GitHub Copilot will be free for students and verified open source contributors. Those attending this week’s Microsoft Build developer conference will have free access through general availability. Microsoft is GitHub’s parent company.

GitHub Copilot is powered by OpenAI Codex, an AI system that was trained on billions of lines of publicly available source code and natural language. The tool, which draws on the context of the code being worked on, has raised the ire of the Free Software Foundation, which has questioned the legality and ethics of its use of freely licensed source code.

Github Copilot anchored a series of product rollouts unveiled at Microsoft Build. Other rollouts announced at Build include:

  • Microsoft Dev Box, a cloud service providing developers with secure, ready-to-code workstations for hybrid teams of any size. Teams preconfigure Dev Boxes for specific projects and tasks. Unified management, security, and compliance are maintained by IT via Windows 365. Developers can sign up for a private preview of Dev Box.
  • A preview of Microsoft Power Pages, a tool for building secure, low-code webpages. The tool is part of the Microsoft Power Platform.
  • Microsoft’s Azure Container Apps, for running microservices and containerized applications on a serverless platform, has reached general availability.
  • Microsoft Intelligent Data Platform, a cloud data platform that integrates databases, analytics, and governance.
  • Project Volterra, a development kit with AI capabilities and a comprehensive Arm-native developer toolchain.

Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc.

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