Microsoft’s GitHub has released a new GPT-4 powered version of its Copilot programming assistant. Copilot X expands the tool’s capabilities to add a ChatGPT-style experience to code editors, pull request support, and AI-powered answers for software documentation.
GitHub launched its original Copilot tool back in 2022. The AI-based service is based on OpenAI’s Codex model and works within the text editor to autocomplete lines or sections of code. Copilot also allows developers to generate code based on natural language requests. Microsoft claims that the tool generates 46 percent of the code and lets users program up to 55 percent faster.
“GitHub Copilot Chat is not just a chat window. It recognizes what code a developer has typed, what error messages are shown, and it’s deeply embedded into the IDE. A developer can get in-depth analysis and explanations of what code blocks are intended to do, generate unit tests, and even get proposed fixes to bugs,” explained Thomas Dohmke, the CEO of GitHub.
Microsoft explained that GitHub Copilot X support is now available throughout the entire software development life cycle. It adds a new ChatGPT-like chat experience within an IDE sidebar chat window, such as Visual Studio and VS Code. It allows developers to use text or voice-based commands to interact with the chatbot. GitHub Copilot X can recognize typed code and show error messages.
Additionally, the new service enables developers to create AI-generated descriptions for pull requests on GitHub. It’s also possible to review and edit the suggested descriptions if needed. Microsoft has also updated Copilot to provide autogenerated answers to queries about documentation for MDN, Azure Docs, and React.
Lastly, GitHub’s Copilot X can help to create test cases tailored to a project’s needs to fix errors during the code review process. The service can produce an error message to warn about untested code sections during deployment. GitHub has also added support for the command line interface (CLI) to compose commands and loops.
The Copilot X features of GitHub aim to minimize manual tasks and allow developers to focus on complex and innovative work. These capabilities will be available for all developers who sign up for the technical preview of Copilot X waitlist. The Copilot tool is priced at $10 per month for individuals, and the business version is priced at per developer per month.