• GitHub launches Copilot Chat, the programming-focused chatbot, for all users, enhancing accessibility.
  • Copilot Chat was initially available to Copilot for business subscribers and was later in beta for individual subscribers.
  • GitHub aims to improve Copilot's appeal, addressing potential losses and competing with similar services in the market.

Earlier this year, GitHub introduced Copilot Chat, a programming-focused chatbot similar to ChatGPT, for businesses subscribed to Copilot for Business. Recently, Copilot Chat was made available to individual Copilot customers who pay $10 per month in beta. Now, GitHub is launching Chat for all users. 

Generative AI models, like GPT-4, sometimes create false information, which can be a problem in coding. Zhao mentioned that GPT-4 is better at avoiding incorrect information than Copilot's older model. However, he emphasized the importance of human review when using AI-suggested code.

In October, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella stated that Copilot had 1 million paying users and around 37,000 enterprise clients. However, GitHub must enhance Copilot's appeal to prevent losing customers and money to competitors. 

According to a Wall Street Journal article, Copilot incurs an average monthly loss of $20 per user, with specific customers costing GitHub up to $80 per month. The expensive operation of the AI models is said to be the cause of this issue, which also led to the early shutdown of Kite, a coding startup utilizing similar technology, last December.

In April, Amazon made CodeWhisperer available for free to developers with no restrictions on usage. Besides CodeWhisperer, Copilot faces competition from startups like Magic, Tabnine, Codegen, and Laredo, as well as open-source models such as Meta's Code Llama and Hugging Face's and ServiceNow's StarCoder.


Edited by Shruti Thapa