GitHub’s AI coding assistant is now available to all - and free for some

(Image credit: GitHub)

Github has announced that its AI-powered coding assistant, Copilot, has now entered general availability.

Launched in private preview last year, GitHub Copilot is now available to all developers for a price of $10/month or $100/year - and at no cost for students and maintainers of popular open source projects.

Github says the full-scale launch of Copilot marks the “first time in the history of software” that AI can be deployed widely to assist with the composition of code.

GitHub Copilot has landed

GitHub Copilot made waves when it was first announced in 2021, promising a significant increase in productivity courtesy of on-the-fly coding suggestions for developers.

“When you type code or comments, GitHub Copilot suggests the next line of code. But it’s not only a single word or line of code. GitHub Copilot can suggest complete methods, boilerplate code, whole unit tests, and even complex algorithms,” the company explained.

The tool also integrates with a wide range of development environments, from Neovim to Visual Studio and JetBrains IDEs.

Some people have registered concerns about the potential for Copilot code to introduce costly inefficiencies and security vulnerabilities to projects; after all, the code generated by the service is imperfect. Meanwhile, others have raised questions around the ownership of code and legal liabilities.

Broadly, however, the tool appears to have been well-received in the developer community. Since the initial launch, upwards of 1.2 million people have sampled Copilot, a third of which remain regular users. According to Github, almost 40% of newly written code is now suggested by Copilot across projects supported by the service.

“Just like the rise of compilers and open source, we believe AI-assisted coding will fundamentally change the nature of software development, giving developers a new tool to write code easier and faster so they can be happier in their lives,” said GitHub.

Now Copilot has been made available to individual developers, the next step will be for Github to bring the service to large development teams. The company says it will allow business customers to purchase large multi-seat licences by the end of the year.

Joel Khalili
News and Features Editor

Joel Khalili is the News and Features Editor at TechRadar Pro, covering cybersecurity, data privacy, cloud, AI, blockchain, internet infrastructure, 5G, data storage and computing. He's responsible for curating our news content, as well as commissioning and producing features on the technologies that are transforming the way the world does business.