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GitHub Copilot Chat Now Generally Available

GitHub Copilot Chat Now Generally Available

Sarah Hardacre
GitHub announced at its annual GitHub Universe event that it has made GitHub Copilot Chat generally available to users with Copilot plans after conducting beta testing over the past few months.

GitHub Copilot Chat is an AI-powered assistant for developers, allowing them to input a prompt in the “natural language of their choice – from German to Portuguese and beyond – and receive real-time guidance” within their developer work environment. Copilot Chat can fully generate code, explain code in simple language, run unit testing, and offer more general support.

GitHub does caution that the quality of the output will be dependent on the amount of data used to develop the AI models in the specified coding language.

GitHub Copilot Chat runs on GPT-4 and is available in Visual Studio Code, Visual Studio, on GitHub.com, and in the JetBrains suite for those who already have an individual or enterprise Copilot plan. GitHub Copilot Chat is also available for free for “verified teachers, students, and maintainers of popular open-source projects.”

GitHub, however, remains realistic about the readiness and relevance of Generative AI solutions for developers and continues to work on improving the performance of the Copilot Chat and reminds users that “while Copilot Chat can be a powerful tool for generating code, it is important to use it as a tool rather than a replacement for human programming” and any Copilot Chat code produced should be reviewed and tested.

GitHub also stresses that Copilot Chat is meant for developer use-cases only and “is not designed to answer non-coding questions, and therefore its responses may not always be accurate or helpful in these contexts.”

While there are still a number of limitations with GitHub Copilot Chat, Shuyin Zhao, VP of product management at GitHub, said, “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.”

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