Microsoft and Github have updated Copilot to GPT-4. The new version "Copilot X" offers ChatGPT-like features.
Perhaps the most interesting new feature is "Copilot Chat", a way to talk to GPT-4 about specific segments of code to better understand or modify it. For example, the chatbot can identify errors in the code and suggest improvements, or make them directly based on natural language input. Microsoft calls this a "ChatGPT-like" coding experience that will also be available via voice input. You won't even need a keyboard to code.
In addition to this chat option, Copilot X now provides an option to automatically generate pull requests using GPT-4. Developers can review and approve these pull requests. Copilot documentation uses the much longer context option of GPT-4 to make answers from software documentation available via chat. Initially, React, Azure Docs, and MDN documentation are available.
GPT-4 in the command-line interface (CLI) can compile commands and loops and, according to Github, "throw around obscure find flags". The new chat features, in particular, move Copilot X closer to the real vision behind the software, which goes beyond code autocompletion: to make Copilot X an "readily accessible AI assistant throughout the entire development lifecycle".
GPT-4 outperforms Codex
For the original Copilot software, which Github says has already significantly accelerated developers' work, Github relied on OpenAI's Codex model, a code-optimized derivative of GPT-3.
That Microsoft and Github are now moving to GPT-4, a general-purpose language model that has also learned to code, can be seen as an indication that large language models are having their greatest impact as general-purpose technologies.
Although the model has only just been released, Github writes that it is seeing "significant gains in logical reasoning and code generation". Likely as a result of this finding, OpenAI has announced that Codex will be discontinued. Researchers can still access it.
With AI available at every step, we can fundamentally redefine developer productivity. We are reducing boilerplate and manual tasks and making complex work easier across the developer lifecycle.
Github CEO Thomas Dohmke
The new features are available as a technical preview or via a waiting list. For more impressions and access, watch the video below or visit the Copilot X product page.