GitHub launches Copilot for Business into general availability with AI upgrades

GitHub launches Copilot for Business into general availability with AI upgrades

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Microsoft Corp.’s GitHub unit today made Copilot for Business, its artificial intelligence code generation service, generally available. 

The service is based on a tool called Copilot that GitHub first previewed in 2021. Both offerings are designed to increase developer productivity by automatically generating software code. But whereas Copilot is geared towards individuals, the newly launched Copilot for Business focuses on the enterprise market.

“For an organization, developers fixing bugs faster means your product and supply chain is more secure,” GitHub Chief Executive Officer Thomas Dohmke wrote in a blog post. “Developers being able to learn and onboard new technologies means they can deliver better solutions for your customers.”

GitHub has added several new features to Copilot for Business on occasion of its release into general availability. According to the Microsoft unit, the features will help developers write code faster and more easily detect software vulnerabilities. 

Copilot for Business generates software code using an AI model called Codex. According to GitHub, developers can write a text prompt describing a software task and have Codex automatically generate the code necessary to perform that task. The AI model supports multiple programming languages.  

Copilot for Business is rolling out into general availability with a new, improved version of Codex. GitHub says that the upgraded AI model can now deliver more relevant code suggestions and generate them faster than before.

The Microsoft unit has also made Copilot for Business more secure. In theory, configuration flaws may sometimes cause the service to generate insecure code. To address that risk, GitHub has added a mechanism for blocking AI code suggestions that might contain vulnerabilities.

GitHub says that Copilot for Business can detect several types of security issues. It’s capable of spotting code that may facilitate SQL injections, a type of common cyberattack involving malicious database queries. Copilot for Business also spots other vulnerabilities, including cases where sensitive data snippets such as encryption keys are stored in an insecure manner within an application’s code base.

Another set of improvements detailed today focuses on VS Code. Developed by GitHub parent Microsoft Corp., VS Code is one of the most popular code editors in the developer ecosystem. Copilot for Business can be embedded into the tool’s interface.

GitHub has enhanced the VS Code integration with a feature that promises to make AI code suggestions more relevant. The feature collects data about developers’ workflow, such as how often they dismiss recommendations made by Copilot for Business. It then uses this data to find ways of providing better code suggestions. 

GitHub rolled out an initial version of the feature last year. According to the Microsoft unit, that initial version helped reduce unnecessary code suggestions by 4.5%. Copilot for Business now includes a newer version of the feature that promises to further improve code suggestions. 

“In the coming years, we will integrate AI into every aspect of the developer experience—from coding to the pull request to code deployments—so developers can build their best in a world where all organizations will be more dependent on their success than ever,” Dohmke detailed.

Image: GitHub

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