This intriguing new platform lets you translate your words into code

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Artificial intelligence (AI) research company OpenAI has released an improved version of its machine learning (ML) system that essentially translates the English language into code. 

Named Codex, reports suggest that the system is designed to not just be of use to trained full-time programmers, but will also be of assistance to amateur coders.

“Codex can now interpret simple commands in natural language and execute them on the user’s behalf—making it possible to build a natural language interface to existing applications,” says OpenAI in a blog post as it launched a private beta.

Codex is a descented of GPT-3, the third generation of OpenAI’s Generative Pre-trained Transformer, which was conceptualized to perform natural language processing (NLP) tasks.

Not quite there yet

According to OpenAI, Codex is trained on several billion lines of public code. The system is reportedly proficient enough to adapt to an individual developer’s coding style.

Notably, Codex powers GitHub Copilot, a new tool launched in June and currently under preview that assists programmers by making relevant suggestions as they write code inside development environments like Microsoft’s Visual Studio Code.

Now OpenAI is inviting developers to build on top of Codex through its API, adding that while the system works best with Python, it is also “proficient” in over a dozen other languages including JavaScript, Go, Perl, PHP, Ruby, Swift, TypeScript, Shell, and more. During this initial period, OpenAI Codex will be offered for free.

However, citing a recent paper published by OpenAI itself, VentureBeat reports that despite being highly capable the system has “significant limitations”, including biases and sample inefficiencies. According to the paper’s authors, Codex can sometimes propose code that’s syntactically incorrect, and can even call on undefined variables. 

Via VentureBeat

Mayank Sharma

With almost two decades of writing and reporting on Linux, Mayank Sharma would like everyone to think he’s TechRadar Pro’s expert on the topic. Of course, he’s just as interested in other computing topics, particularly cybersecurity, cloud, containers, and coding.