GitHub and OpenAI preview AI tool that produces its own code
The aim of this feature is to learn how you write code, and to suggest lines and functions automatically. The Copilot tool also helps you find alternative ways to solve a problem and use, new APIs easily.
How does GitHub Copilot work?
GitHub Copilot is powered by OpenAI Codex, a new AI system created by OpenAI. OpenAI Codex was trained on publicly available source code and natural language, so it understands both programming and human languages. The GitHub Copilot editor extension sends your comments and code to the GitHub Copilot service, which then uses OpenAI Codex to synthesize and suggest individual lines and whole functions.
GitHub Copilot draws context from the code you’re working on and it helps you quickly discover alternative ways to solve problems, write tests, and explore new APIs without having to tailor a search for answers on the internet. As you type, it adapts to the way you write code—to help you complete your work faster.
While testimonials praise the productivity gains Copilot provides, GitHub implies that not all the code utilised was vetted for bugs, insecure practices, or personal data. The company writes they have put a few filters in place to prevent Copilot from generating offensive language, but it might not be perfect.
“Due to the pre-release nature of the underlying technology, GitHub Copilot may sometimes produce undesired outputs, including biased, discriminatory, abusive, or offensive outputs,” Copilot’s website says.
Will Copilot improve over time?
The company recently benchmarked it against a set of Python functions that have good test coverage in open source repos. They blanked out the function bodies and asked GitHub Copilot to fill them in. The model got this right 43% of the time on the first try, and 57% of the time when allowed 10 attempts. They stated ‘it’s getting smarter all the time.’
GitHub Copilot has launched in technical preview and is available as an extension for Microsoft’s cross-platform code editor Visual Studio Code, working locally or in the cloud.
ManageEngine Survey Finds Global AI Use Increase
ManageEngine, the enterprise IT management division of Zoho Corporation, has announced results from its recent market study, The 2021 Digital Readiness Survey, finding that 86% of organisations worldwide are using artificial intelligence (AI) more than they did two years ago. However, only 35% of the global respondents reported that their confidence in the technology has significantly increased.
The focus of the study was to understand technological changes in a post-COVID world, in areas such as remote work, security, business analytics, and AI. It was found that organisations worldwide mainly increased their use of AI to improve business analytics (63%), increase operational efficiency (62%) and enhance the customer experience (60%). While a majority of global respondents (94%) believe that AI will meet business expectations—and 65% stated AI had delivered measurable business results—some fears remain around the technology’s performance.
“The potential for AI to improve business efficiency and the customer experience was firmly on show through 2020, with AI handling everything from increased customer service volumes to oversight of self-service processes,” said Rajesh Ganesan, vice president at ManageEngine. “While AI is being handed more responsibility and is applied in more business-critical use cases, our research shows this is a double-edged sword and that more work is needed to embrace the technology and lift internal capability to ensure AI achieves its promise.”
Is business analytics the key to success?
The growing use of AI coincides with a broader trend of using analytics to improve the use of available data and the speed and accuracy of decision-making. In the post-pandemic era, profitability and competition are also driving organisations across the world to invest in business analytics platforms and capabilities.
Business analytics is an umbrella term for several types of analytics—descriptive, diagnostic, predictive and prescriptive.
The biggest user of business analytics by far is IT. An average of 63% of IT departments worldwide cited this in the survey. However, in North America, 67% of executives noted their use of business analytics, which was higher than their IT departments’ use (61%). Business areas such as marketing, sales, human resources, operations and R&D are also showing interest in business analytics but are well behind IT and executives on adoption and actual use.
Other key global findings of the survey
– A mighty 96% of organisations are planning to continue supporting remote workers for the next two years. Concerningly, the report also found that 84% of IT professionals believe that remote workers have increased their enterprise’s security risk.
– More than half (56%) of respondents stated that improving their security infrastructure is a key driver of adopting new technologies.
– 78% of organisations revealed that remote workers download software without obtaining approval from the IT department; this shadow IT mainly included mobile-specific applications (40%), online meeting tools (38%) and document sharing solutions (31%).
– 84% of respondents use more cloud services now than they did before the pandemic began. However, most respondents believe that improved security (56%), performance (52%) and reliability (51%) would increase their company’s confidence in cloud-based solutions.