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Generative AI Helping Boost Productivity of Some Software Developers

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Microsoft Corp.’s GitHub Copilot coding program, built with generative artificial intelligence from ChatGPT maker OpenAI, suggests code for developers, who have the option to accept the suggestion.

Credit: Computer Science Degree Hub

A new kind of artificial intelligence that can create a range of humanlike content, from writing to illustrations, is beginning to gain traction in the world of software development.

The technology, known as generative AI, has been pioneered by OpenAI, the lab behind the ChatGPT writing system and the Dall-E visual illustration generator. Those tools, with broad implications for search and other core tasks, have captured growing interest since late last fall. 

The technology's potential to upend software development is particularly acute. Microsoft Corp. , which invested $1 billion in OpenAI in 2019 and pledged as much as $10 billion more in January, is incorporating ChatGPT into its Bing search engine, and earlier incorporated OpenAI's technology into Copilot, its AI system for writing code. 

Copilot, as well as other tools from Inc., International Business Machines Corp. , and startups like Tabnine Inc. and Magic AI Inc., have quickly found a receptive audience among developers seeking a productivity boost.

In contrast to ChatGPT, whose usefulness in the enterprise some technology leaders have questioned, AI coding tools like Copilot, which was first launched for public use last summer by Microsoft-owned coding-collaboration platform GitHub Inc., seem to be capable of solving some real-world business problems right away. The AI model behind Copilot is trained on data from GitHub, which houses a popular open-source community where developers contribute and share code.

From The Wall Street Journal
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