GitHub Starts a Coding Conversation With New Copilot Chat Generative AI Chatbot
GitHub has released the Copilot Chat generative AI chatbot for private and enterprise use. Copilot Chat gives the Copilot AI pair programmer a new way to assist by answering developer questions conversationally and enhancing GitHub Copilot’s technical prowess with OpenAI’s GPT-4 large language model.
GitHub Copilot Chat is an extension of the existing Copilot tool. The chatbot opens a way for users to seek advice by asking the AI assistant in plain language for explanations of coding concepts, translating between programming languages, and other valuable features. The conversational aspect is adaptable, and developers can personalize it to their style and common programming projects. The AI can converse in dozens of languages as it assists users in finding and eliminating bugs, understanding complex code, and improving cybersecurity. The long-term vision is to establish natural language as a universal programming interface and infuse generative AI across the entire software development lifecycle.
“With so many capabilities, you might be wondering how to begin incorporating the magic of GitHub Copilot Chat into your day-to-day workflow. Copilot Chat is personalized to each developer and their unique coding practices, so it’s really up to you to decide where and when to use it,” GitHub product manager Shuyin Zhao wrote in the announcement. “As the global home for developers, we’re hyper-focused on how we can bring AI to the entire development lifecycle to help developers do the best work of their lives and have fun while doing it. From our own experience using Copilot Chat at GitHub, we’re confident it can do just that.”
The expansion of Copilot is part of GitHub’s AI-centered strategy, having been “re-founded” on the back of Copilot, as the company describes it. Copilot Chat is now available in GitHub’s paid Copilot plans at no cost for students and open-source developers through enterprise projects that require a license. It also works across Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio IDEs. With its acquisition by Microsoft closing in 2023, GitHub is positioned to integrate Copilot-level AI broadly across Microsoft’s developer tools. The natural language capabilities of Copilot Chat could make programming more accessible to new developers. Next will come a subscription level for GitHub Copilot, which is projected to arrive in February. Copilot Enterprise will customize suggestions to internal code and data, and the AI will absorb proprietary codebases to accelerate deployments.