The future of programming?  GitHub's OpenAI developer tool is here

The future of programming? GitHub’s OpenAI developer tool is here

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GitHub Copilot for Business, the pair programmer extension powered by OpenAI Codex, is now generally available with an updated version of OpenAI Codex and a new real-time vulnerability filter that detects common security bugs while coding in the editor.

The Microsoft-owned Code Repository Service announced Copilot for Business in November, adding a new team-based option to the existing co-pilot for individuals. The service costs $10 per user per month. Copilot for Business subscription costs $19 per user per monthdepending on the number of Copilot seats allocated.

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The OpenAI Codex, which powers Copilot code suggestions, translates natural language into code. Copilot can be used with various editors, including Microsoft Visual Studio, Neovim, VS Code, or JetBrains IDEs.

GitHub says Copilot now has an improved Codex template and new features. It also developed a security vulnerability filter to make Copilot coding suggestions more secure and help developers spot insecure coding patterns on the fly.

The new Codex model, which Microsoft offers with GPT-3.5 and DALL•E 2 to developers via Azure OpenAI Services — should result in a higher percentage of code written by Copilot.

GitHub claims that when Copilot for Consumers launched last year, about 27% of developer code files on average were generated by Copilot. Now, the average for this metric is 46% across all supported programming languages, while for Java it is 61%.

Copilot’s code acceptance rate is lower, but it continues to increase. In June 2022, developers accepted an average of 27% of suggestions. This figure increased to 30% in September and reached 35% in December.

Besides updating Copilot to a newer Codex model, Copilot acquired a “paradigm” called Fill-In-the-Middle (FIM), which goes beyond the previous method of only considering the prefix of the code to account for known code suffixes and leaves a gap. in the middle for the copilot to fill in.

“That way it now has more context about your planned code and how it should align with the rest of your program. FIM in GitHub Copilot consistently produces better code suggestions, and we’ve developed various strategies to deliver it without any additional latency,” says Shuyin Zhao, Senior Director of Product Management at GitHub.

GitHub also updated its VS Code extension with a “light client-side model” that learns the user’s context to reduce the frequency of unwanted suggestions. GitHub claims this resulted in a 4.5% reduction in unwanted suggestions.

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The new vulnerability filter also uses large language models (LLMs) to “close to the behavior of static analysis tools”. GitHub claims it can block insecure coding patterns in real time and targets very common security issues, such as hard-coded credentials, SQL injections, and path injections.

Copilot for home and business could help Microsoft onboard more users to GitHub. GitHub recently reported that it had 100 million users — far more than most metrics of the world’s developer population. GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke said developers no longer work for software vendors.

“This is an increasingly diverse and global group of people working in all industries, tinkering with code, design and documentation in their spare time, contributing to open source projects, conducting research scientists, etc.”, Dohmke explained.

“These are people who work all over the world to create software for hospitals, achievement, Nasaand the PyTorch project, which powers AI and machine learning applications. They are also people who want help a loved one communicate And family members overcome illnesses.”

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