GitHub’s AI coding assistant is now available for everyone – and free for some

Github has announced that its AI-powered coding assistant, Copilot, has now entered general availability.

Launched in private preview Last yearGitHub Copilot is now available to all developers for $10/month or $100/year – and free for students and maintainers of popular open-source projects.

According to Github, the large-scale launch of Copilot marks the “first time in software history” that AI can be deployed at scale to help with code composition.

GitHub Copilot has landed

GitHub Copilot made waves with its first announcement in 2021, promising a significant boost in productivity through on-the-fly coding suggestions for developers.

“When you type code or comments, GitHub Copilot suggests the next line of code. But it’s not just a word or line of code. GitHub Copilot can suggest full methods, boilerplate code, tests whole unit units and even complex algorithms,” the company explained.

The tool also integrates with a wide range of development environmentsfrom Neovim to Visual Studio and JetBrains IDEs.

Some people have expressed concern about the potential of Copilot code to introduce costly inefficiencies and security vulnerabilities into projects; after all, the code generated by the service is imperfect. Meanwhile, others have raised questions about code ownership and legal liabilities.

Overall, however, the tool seems to have been well received in the developer community. Since the initial launch, over 1.2 million people have sampled Copilot, of which a third remain regular users. According to Github, almost 40% of newly written code is now suggested by Copilot in projects supported by the service.

“Much like the rise of compilers and open source, we believe that AI-assisted coding will fundamentally change the nature of software development, giving developers a new tool to write code easier and faster so that ‘they can be happier in their lives,’ said GitHub.

Now that Copilot has been made available to individual developers, the next step will be for Github to bring the service to large development teams. The company says it will allow enterprise customers to purchase large multi-seat licenses by the end of the year.

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