GitHub's AI-powered coding assistant moves to public beta. How to access it

GitHub Copilot Chat helps answer users' coding questions and makes suggestions in real time.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
GitHub Copilot Chat

Although generative AI tools can perform many tasks well, there has been a significant interest in their coding abilities since they can perform tasks that take people years to learn within seconds. Github is harnessing those capabilities on its own platform with GitHub Copilot Chat. 

In July, Github first introduced its GitHub Copilot, an assistant that can help answer coding questions, troubleshoot bugs, and learn new languages. However, access to the tool was limited to GitHub Copilot for Business users.

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This week, GitHub announced that it is expanding its public beta to all GitHub Copilot individual users for free. 

With this expansion, all individual users working on projects in both GitHub's Visual Studio and Visual Studio Code can access the assistant without having to leave the integrated development environment (IDE). 

"By reducing the need for context switching, it streamlines the development process, which helps developers maintain their focus and momentum," says GitHub. 

Some other tasks that GitHub Copilot Chat can assist with are fixing security issues, code analysis, simple troubleshooting, and real-time guidance that suggests best practices and tips in real-time, according to the release. 

Also: How to use ChatGPT to write code

To access the feature, a user needs to have an active GitHub Copilot subscription and, if using Visual Studio Code, have the latest version of it installed. The user must also be signed in with the same GitHub ID that has access to GitHub Copilot.

Then, users have to install the Visual Studio Code extension or Visual Studio Code to access the actual GitHub Copilot Chat. For full instructions, interested users can visit GitHub's instructions

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