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GitHub rolls out Copilot for business, experiments with voice control for Copilot

GitHub is expanding Copilot, anticipating a future where AI will be integrated into every aspect of the developer experience.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer on
Developers discussing something on a laptop
Image: Maskot/Getty Images

On Wednesday, GitHub announced expansions to Copilot, the service that uses AI to help programmers write code. After launching Copilot in GA earlier this year, GitHub is now introducing Copilot for business, enabling whole teams to use the service. GitHub, a Microsoft-owned business, also unveiled "Hey, GitHub!" which is an experiment that brings voice control to Copilot. 

"AI will soon be integrated into every aspect of the developer experience -- and, therefore, we're making GitHub Copilot even more accessible," GitHub CEO Thomas Dohmke wrote in a blog post. 

Copilot is used as an extension to code editors, such as Microsoft's VS Code. It generates code suggestions in multiple programming languages that users can accept, reject, or edit. 

The suggestions are provided by OpenAI's Codex, a system that translates natural language to code and is based on OpenAI's GPT-3 language model. For individuals, the AI pair-programming service costs $10 per user per month or $100 per user per year.

Also: Can GitHub's Copilot AI put the fun back into being a developer?

Soon, businesses will be able to purchase and manage seat licenses for GitHub Copilot for their employees. They'll get added admin controls for various GitHub Copilot settings on behalf of their organization.

Meanwhile, researchers on the GitHub Next team -- which explores the future of software development -- have developed "Hey, GitHub!" to enable voice-based interactions with Copilot. 

"If GitHub Copilot is our pair programmer, why can't we talk to it?" Dohmke asked in his blog post. 

With voice control, Copilot could be more accessible to developers who have difficulty typing with their hands. Currently, "Hey, GitHub!" only works with VS Code, but GitHub intends to expand its capabilities with more research and testing.

You can sign up to join the "Hey, GitHub!" waitlist, so you can try it out and give feedback. 

Also: Google makes massive commitment to support more languages using AI 

GitHub on Wednesday also announced the general availability of Codespaces, the browser-based integrated development environment (IDE). All users will have access to up to 60 hours of Codespaces for free every month.

Additionally, GitHub is partnering with JetBrains to let developers use the IDE of their choice on Codespaces. JupyterLab is also available in Codespaces in public beta, so that machine-learning specialists and data scientists can use it.

You can try Codespaces through more than 50 Codespaces-enabled courses on LinkedIn Learning. Like GitHub, LinkedIn is a Microsoft-owned company. The courses are available for free through February 2023.

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