Microsoft’s Github and OpenAI have launched a technical preview of a new AI tool called Copilot, which lives inside the Visual Studio Code editor and autocompletes code snippets.
GitHub sees this as an evolution of pair programming, where two coders will work on the same project to catch each others’ mistakes and speed up the development process. It means, one of those coders is virtual AI.
This project is the first major result of Microsoft’s $1 billion investment into OpenAI, the research firm now led by Y Combinator president Sam Altman. Since Altman took the reins, OpenAI has pivoted from nonprofit status to a “capped-profit” model, took on the Microsoft investment, and started licensing its GPT-3 text-generation algorithm. Copilot is built on a new algorithm called OpenAI Codex, which OpenAI CTO Greg Brockman describes as a descendant of GPT-3.
Right now, Copilot is in a restricted technical preview, but you can sign up on the project’s website for a chance to access it.