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GitHub Copilot Chat Now Generally Available

MMS Founder
MMS Matt Saunders

Article originally posted on InfoQ. Visit InfoQ

GitHub Copilot Chat, a natural language-powered coding tool, is now generally available, according to a recent announcement by GitHub. The tool, a part of GitHub Copilot, is designed to elevate natural language as a universal programming language.

GitHub Copilot Chat, powered by GPT-4, is a contextually-aware AI assistant tailored for development scenarios. It offers real-time guidance for developers without leaving their Integrated Development Environment (IDE), supporting them in tasks ranging from explaining complex coding concepts to detecting security vulnerabilities and writing unit tests.

The tool is generally available for both Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio, and is accessible to all GitHub Copilot individual users. Enterprise and organization administrators can grant access to Copilot Chat by enabling the setting for their users. It is also available at no cost to verified teachers, students, and maintainers of popular open-source projects. Developers can prompt Copilot Chat in their preferred natural language, including German, Portuguese and more. It is personalized to each developer, aligning with their unique coding practices, and is designed to help developers innovate quickly.

GitHub Copilot Chat supports seamless translation between programming languages, simplifying tasks such as code standardization, breaking up monoliths, and optimizing performance. Developers can use the tool to understand and translate code into the target language, reducing the need for rewriting and transferring logic. The tool adapts to each developer’s coding practices and provides real-time support for a wide array of coding tasks.

The announcement includes insights from GitHub developers on how they are leveraging Copilot Chat in their workflows. Examples cited were using Copilot Chat to translate a JavaScript application to Java and then to C#. The tool facilitated the process by generating high-quality results and aiding in the generation of unit tests. Another highlighted the use of Copilot Chat for quickly converting code between different languages, saving time on searching for specific command flags or syntax. And a third example emphasized the use of Copilot Chat to refresh coding practices, and allowing developers to concentrate on bigger thinking.

Geert Baeke, on X (formerly Twitter) also cites success in using Copilot Chat:

I wanted to plot a couple of embeddings on a 2D graph. In the past, I would have had to search how I have to do the dimensionality reduction, how matplotlib works, what other libraries to use, and the list goes on… Now it’s a few seconds in GitHub Copilot chat. It might not be optimal but it supports my data so it’s good enough.

GitHub is focused on bringing AI to the entire development lifecycle to assist developers in doing their best work whilst also enjoying the process. The guide for getting started with GitHub Copilot Chat is also provided for users interested in exploring its features.

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