GitHub Copilot is now a reality to assist developers

GitHub Copilot is one of the technologies that has caused the most talk in recent months in the software development sector. It is an artificial intelligence created in order to assist programmers in their task and which has been in the testing phase for some time, but is now available , not for free, to anyone who uses the following editors and IDE: Visual Studio Code, Neovim, Visual Studio and JetBrains .

The use of artificial intelligence is increasingly widespread in the technological world , with the clear role of large corporations or companies that are below them, as is the case of GitHub . The name of Copilot does not leave much to the imagination as it clearly states that it is a technology that performs the “copilot” function to facilitate the task of writing code for programmers.

The responsible company has said that, “with GitHub Copilot , for the first time in software history, developers can take full advantage of AI to write and complete code . Like the rise of compilers and open source, we believe that AI-assisted coding will fundamentally change the nature of software development, giving developers a new tool to write code more easily and quickly so they can be more happy in their lives .

GitHub Copilot has been specifically designed as an editor extension to assist the developer. It does this mining the collective knowledge of developers around the world into an editor extension that suggests code in real time” , thereby helping the programmer to stay focused on creating “great software” .

The artificial intelligence that concerns us is in charge of making suggestions to make the code fit the context and style conventions of the project, opening the door to apply various options that can be accepted, rejected or edited. GitHub Copilot is capable of suggesting full methods, representative code, full unit tests, and complex algorithms . All these capabilities should not only help expert programmers, but also when it comes to entering unknown languages ​​or delving into those that are not well known.

GitHub Copilot

GitHub Copilot is able to assist in writing “dozens of programming languages ” including TypeScript, Google Go, Python, Ruby, Java, and JavaScript. The company explained that, with more than 1.2 million developers participating in the trial period, “people who started using GitHub Copilot quickly said that it became an indispensable part of their daily workflows. In archives where it’s enabled, GitHub Copilot writes nearly 40% of the code in popular coding languages .

After passing a 60-day trial period , you have to pay $4 per month or $44 per year for the Team plan or $21 per month or $231 per year for the Enterprise plan. Alternatively, students and maintainers of popular open source projects can use it for free, but access to this plan is restricted to certain requirements.

GitHub Copilot is based on the OpenAI Codex artificial intelligence model, which is developed by OpenAI and has raised concerns from the Free Software Foundation that code snippets generated by Copilot and Codex could violate copyright and terms of use. the GPL when redistributing derivative works under an equivalent license.

The foundation in charge of defining and defending free software has raised possible issues about whether training through public repositories can be considered fair use or not, what methods developers have to discover if their code has been reused in violation of licenses , if Trained machine learning models are modifiable source code or a compilation of training data, plus whether or by whom the machine learning models might be copyrighted.

Be that as it may, GitHub Copilot is now officially a reality for programmers. It seems that during the testing phase it has been quite popular, but we will see how it works after being officially published as a product and the possible conflicts it can generate with developers and licenses, especially when it comes to projects published under the most popular variants of the GPL.

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