GitHub release the beta of its AI-powered coding chatbot available to all customers of GitHub Copilot for Business.
Earlier this year, GitHub announced Copilot X, an initiative to extend its Copilot code completion tool to more use cases, including a ChatGPT-based code-centric chatbot.
Until now, this chatbot was only available in a private preview, but starting today, Copilot Chat is now available as a limited public beta for all GitHub business users on Visual Studio and VS Code.
“This new evolution turns GitHub Copilot into a context-aware conversational assistant right in the IDE, allowing developers to execute some of the most complex tasks with simple prompts,” GitHub’s Mario Rodriguez writes in today’s announcement.
“Every developer on your team, from the least to the most experienced, will be able to build entire applications or debug vast arrays of code in a matter of minutes instead of a matter of days.”
The promise of Copilot Chat is that it isn’t just a chatbot but also aware of the entire context of the code you are working on.
Copilot Chat may be powered by GPT-4, but GitHub stresses that its ability to understand the context of what you are working on in your IDE means it can go beyond what a more general-purpose generative AI chat assistant can do — all while allowing developers to stay in the flow.
“We’re taking what works for general purpose and making it contextually aware of a developer’s environment,” Rodriguez explains.
As GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke told me last month, while Chat was still in private preview, the company was seeing strong demand from businesses to get access to this new service.
“If I compare this to when we launched Copilot in preview two years ago, we are on a much faster track where companies are saying ‘we want not only Copilot but Copilot X.’ We are actually surprised by the adoption curve from companies who are even willing to sign up for the preview terms — which are softer than the regular terms and saying ‘no, we don’t want to wait a few months. We want Chat now.’”