GitHub has introduced GPT-4 functionality in Copilot, its assistant for writing code. With Copilot X, developers can write, check and test code faster.

According to GitHub, Copilot X is an expanded version of its existing AI-based code assistant tool Copilot. Copilot is already supported by OpenAI’s GPT-3 model, but the upgrade now implemented provides developers with more functionality. It allows them to use the AI-based code assistant throughout the development lifecycle, the thinking goes.

Chat and Voice

The new assistant Copilot X will be built into the interfaces of code editors Microsoft VS Code and Visual Studio by default. The tool makes available a chat window, GitHub Copilot Chat, in which developers can enter instructions for the tool. For example, to detect bugs in a piece of code or to generate completely new code.

In addition, Copilot Voice is also being introduced that allows developers to communicate with the code assistant via voice commands. With this, they can not only develop code, but also request certain sections of a file, for example.

Pull requests

Copilot X also offers new functionality for pull requests. The GPT-4 functionality lets developers enter a short piece of code or text, after which a detailed description is automatically provided. Programmers can then study this description for bugs and change the code where necessary. Again, Copilot X helps complete the task.

In the near future, this functionality should be expanded to a kind of “autocomplete” that can generate multiple lines of code simultaneously. Also being developed is functionality where the tool scans the code described in a pull request and determines whether it has been adequately tested. When the tool finds room for improvement, it automatically generates the tests still to be performed. These recommendations in turn can be customized by developers according to their requirements.

Going through technical info and CLI scripting

The arrival of GitHub Copilot X also allows the tool to be used for quickly perusing technical information and writing command line interface (CLI) queries. Through a chat window, developers can ask questions about a piece of code and in this way automatically bring up an answer from technical documentation.

The AI tool will initially be trained for this functionality only for technical documentation for React, Azure Docs and MDN. The functionality can also be applied to customer repositories and internal documentation.

For CLI requests and especially CLI scripting, Copilot X also wants to simplify the process. Instead of difficult default syntax, developers can now enter plain natural text. This should speed up tasks such as configuring servers.

Also read: GitHub Copilot gets major update to improve coding experience