Amazon ReMars 2022 CodeWhisperer

Amazon’s New CodeWhisperer AI Programming Assistant Challenges GitHub Copilot

Amazon introduced the CodeWhisperer AI programming aide at Amazon re:MARS that can autocomplete software code by extrapolating froma few hints. CodeWhisperer arrives the same week as GitHub made its own Copilot programming AI generally available, drawing more attention to what may be a highly competitive market.


CodeWhisperer’s role is to be a kind of digital pair programmer, the junior partner when two developers are working on the same project, coding the same project simultaneously. The AI can help code Java, JavaScript and Python after it was trained on many billions of lines of code, including both its own database and open-source code and documentation. Amazon embedded CodeWhisperer in the AWS IDE Toolkit, but the AI isn’t static. CodeWhisperer will learn from the user’s coding and comments, adapting to individual style and context over time.

“We trained the model on the most common patterns for building cloud applications, so you can build and innovate on the cloud much faster than ever before,” AWS vice president of data and machine learning Swami Sivasubramanian said in announcing CodeWhisperer at the conference.

Rival Code

Though CodeWhisperer’s suggestions and corrections functions are reminiscent of what GitHub’s Copilot offers, there are some differences that stand out. CodeWhisperer defaults to producing new code that is not in its database where possible. It will highlight any suggestions it makes that may be too close to programming owned by someone else, and indicate who has the license for that code. GitHub parent company Microsoft developed Copilot from OpenAI’s GPT-3 model. Developers at both companies clearly saw that there is a market for augmenting software programming with natural language processing. As Google-backed DeepMind’s AlphaCode AI and other products in the space develop, it could end up a significant slice of the rapidly expanding enterprise AI market.


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