DEV Community

loading...
Cover image for All the things you need to know about the GitHub Copilot !

All the things you need to know about the GitHub Copilot !

Mayank Kumar
I am Front End dev ! 🎀 Console.log("Podcast")
・2 min read

Q. So what is GitHub Copilot ?
Q. Will it replace the developers with AI machines ?
Q. Is it the start of the end?

image

There can be many kind of things that you can say about it, here I can be a pragmatic man and say that its gonna take developer's jobs and I don't know one day it might even happen !!

But its nothing happening anytime soon that's for sure !!
So don't worry you and your jobs are secure.

image

But lets know what actually is GitHub Copilot !

So Its is a AI based application that predicts your code by just reading the function name you have declared, it actually works by reading through all the open source code on the GitHub repos worldwide and then collect the data and tries to find the best possible code related to it !

This Application is being developed by a company called Open AI. If you have ever used Kite/Tabnine as a AI extension in your IDE, you might have a slight idea about how the GitHub copilot works.

As far as I know the GitHub copilot works on the algorithm GPT-3

image

It is currently the one of "The" best algorithm in AI right now in the world if not the best.

At the end, I don't think its really that much threating right now, but you never know moving forward what does the future hold for you, in my opinion this AI based application will take a while to get really good at getting every code to the mark.

So Chill and keep CODING.

HAPPY CODING πŸš€

Discussion (16)

Collapse
pcjmfranken profile image
Peter Franken • Edited
  • Public source does not equal free to use. And even if it is "proper" open source as defined by the Open Source Directive [1], it's often published under an MIT [2] or GNU GPL [3] license which require copyright or source attribution.
  • This Codepilot has been copying code ad verbum (comments and all..) into some of its users' projects, and even did so without any form of attribution. Although I'm sure this will improve over time as they steal more public code.
  • Their plan is to eventually start charging for usage, so don't count on yourself getting dirty rich on being able to lean back and have the code write itself just yet.
  • Oh, and as the cherry on the cake, it also sends home any code you have written that is an adjustment of the snippet it spit out. Meaning it's possibly illegal to use if you're handling code or data that's covered by an NDA or protected by privacy law.

At least they're up-front about it as most of the above is mentioned as a possibility in their FAQ [4].

Microsoft is a 1.7 trillion dollar enterprise, by the way. They should be alright without you jumping into the breach for them.

1 opensource.org/docs/osd
2 choosealicense.com/licenses/mit/
3 choosealicense.com/licenses/gpl-3.0/
4 copilot.github.com/#faqs

Edit: Added the distinction between "public source" and "open source" with links and fixed some grammar.

Addition: Look, I understand this is the future. What bothers me is that there's a lot of low-hanging fruit that they left hanging when it comes to ethics.

I guess the paradigm that applies to Facebook and Google now also applies to GitHub: "when something is free, you're the product". Except in this case GitHub might have violated the license of public code (AKA stole it) and there's no way to tell if you're a victim.

Collapse
rahulbanerjee99 profile image
Rahul Banerjee

I recently wrote an article about it as well dev.to/rahulbanerjee99/some-experi...

Yup , at times it generates weird stuff. It generated the local file paths of some random users at times which is kind of creepy.

Collapse
jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy

Looks very similar to TabNine which I've been using for ages - although Copilot seems to be totally OTT in comparison. TabNine's suggestions are fairly conservative, but incredibly helpful - it really does feel like it's reading your mind sometimes.

This level of completion though - especially the very large ones, is an absolute disaster for the levels of competency in the industry, and very bad for people who are learning. It's almost an automated StackOverflow copy-pasta machine.

Possibly useful in the right hands, but - as they say - with great power, comes great responsibility

Collapse
lepinekong profile image
lepinekong

for javascript at least it slowed me down, I deactivated so Copilot must be better or I'll do the same ;)

Collapse
mayank0508 profile image
Mayank Kumar Author

yeah exactly, tabnine is a very nice extension to add in you IDE's it helps alot !! πŸ€—πŸ€—

Collapse
tabnine profile image
Tabnine

Happy to help πŸ’™

Collapse
tabnine profile image
Tabnine

Hey Jon, we are very happy to hear that you're enjoying Tabnine in your IDE β™₯️

Collapse
jonrandy profile image
Jon Randy • Edited

So, GitHub/Micro$oft is now injecting source code derived from copyrighted sources into the software of their customers without informing them of the license of the original source code.

I'm sure lawyers will be very interested

Collapse
mayank0508 profile image
Mayank Kumar Author

Micro$oft should be their new name !! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Collapse
zenulabidin profile image
Ali Sherief

I definitely don't think orgs should be hiring people who just rely on the AI to code for them; what if Copilot breaks and manual coding is necessary?

An auto coding tool is not a substitute for a sufficiently wholesome CV.

Collapse
mayank0508 profile image
Mayank Kumar Author

I really do agree on this point ! but the whole point is that in the worst case scenario if the AI becomes so intelligent that it doesnt require devs anymore then companies wont be hiring at all

Collapse
lepinekong profile image
lepinekong

For me at the moment it's more a competitor for Google + Stackoverflow copy and paste :)

Collapse
mayank0508 profile image
Mayank Kumar Author

same here πŸ™Œ

Collapse
lepinekong profile image
lepinekong

I don't think it's based on GPT-3 though it is made by the same company OpenAI

Collapse
mayank0508 profile image
Mayank Kumar Author

its not actually based on gpt-3, but its works on a language model very similar to GPT-3 !!

Collapse
qm3ster profile image
Mihail Malo

GPT-3 can do a little bit of arithmetics by accident.
There's no reason to believe GPT-5 won't, equally accidentally, write correct code.