The administration of GitHub has officially launched the Copilot Chat tool, transitioning it from beta testing to general availability. Now accessible to all users, Copilot Chat is offered to paid GitHub subscribers, verified student and teacher accounts, and developers contributing to select open-source projects.
GPT-4-Powered Assistance for Developers
Designed to cater to programmers’ needs, Copilot Chat harnesses the capabilities of the GPT-4 language model, a specialized product from OpenAI tailored specifically for development contexts. Developers can interact with Copilot Chat using natural language commands, enabling functionalities such as code explanation, vulnerability detection, and writing assistance.
Safeguards and Enhancements
The GPT-4 model underwent training using publicly available and copyrighted data, a facet underscored by Microsoft as compliant with fair use doctrine. GitHub’s administration clarified that developers can exclude their code from the training data set by switching their repository to confidential mode. Notably, the GPT-4 model exhibits improved handling of hallucinations compared to its predecessor. Copilot Chat integrates additional filters to shield against unsafe code, including identifying credentials or potential SQL injections within the codebase.
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella disclosed that Copilot already boasts over 1 million paid subscribers and approximately 37,000 corporate clients as of October. GitHub’s primary objective now centers on enhancing Copilot’s appeal to ensure competitive parity and financial sustainability. Reports revealed that Microsoft incurs an average monthly loss of $20 per Copilot user, with GitHub shouldering an $80 monthly cost for some users, adds NIXsolutions. Notable competing solutions include Amazon’s CodeWhisperer and Meta’s Code Llama, offering alternatives to developers.
The release of Copilot Chat marks GitHub’s commitment to empowering developers with advanced tools, fostering innovation, and streamlining coding processes.