GitHub releases an AI-powered tool aiming for a 'radically new way of building software'

The company's new Copilot Workspace lets developers 'go from idea, to code, to software in natural language.'
Written by Radhika Rajkumar, Editor

Over the past two years, generative AI has helped accelerate what programmers can do. Now, GitHub is giving them even more tools.

On Monday, the company launched a technical preview of GitHub Copilot Workspace, an AI-powered developer environment. The release builds on GitHub's existing productivity tools, including GitHub Copilot, launched in 2022, and Copilot Chat, which lets programmers use natural language to test and debug their code.

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"Within Copilot Workspace, developers can now brainstorm, plan, build, test, and run code in natural language," the announcement explains. "This new task-centric experience leverages different Copilot-powered agents from start to finish, while giving developers full control over every step of the process."

Copilot Workspace gives developers end-to-end AI support on whatever they're building, aiming to assist where many programmers get blocked: the beginning of a project. Starting with a GitHub repository or issue, engineers can work with AI-powered agents to address bugs and test possible solutions.

Because Copilot Workspace is familiar with the codebase and previous issue replies, the tool can then suggest and take steps to try to resolve the problem, all written in natural language. 

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All of Copilot Workspace's steps and code suggestions are editable, meaning developers maintain control over what's deployed, but don't have to build every component to get there. Developers can run their final code in Workspace, make tweaks in GitHub Codespace, and share a link to their workspace with other team members, who can see how they used Copilot agents to realize the final product.


GitHub Copilot Workspace agents implementing steps in mobile. 


According to the announcement, GitHub hopes to reimagine the entire developer experience: "Copilot Workspace represents a radically new way of building software with natural language, and is expressly designed to deliver -- not replace -- developer creativity, faster and easier than ever before."

By making software simpler and easier to build, the tool lets professional developers focus on bigger-picture systems instead of being mired in lines of code, GitHub explained. The company also wants Copilot Workspace to help beginner and hobbyist coders. 

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GitHub aims to democratize coding for programmers of all levels by "quantifiably reducing boilerplate work," as noted in the release. "We are accelerating to a future where 1 billion people on GitHub will control a machine just as easily as they ride a bicycle," the company added.

Copilot Workspace can be used on desktop and mobile, and is now available for technical preview -- sign up here

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