GitHub Copilot: the AI-based programming assistant, the costs, and who can use it for free

GitHub Copilot, OpenAI’s artificial intelligence-based assistant that suggests code and complete functions in real-time, is now available to all developers for a price of $10 per month or $100 for a year, but some options have been enabled that allows you to use it for free.

Since the launch of the technical preview last year, GitHub Copilot has proven to be an interesting resource for programmers, which does not seek to replace them but to help them avoid wasting time mainly with certain repetitive tasks.

A new tool for writing code

Copilot is based on OpenAI’s Codex algorithm, an artificial intelligence system that can “translate natural language into code”. GitHub decided to train it with several terabytes of source code available on the platform, something that was not without controversy.

However, that training was one of the keys for the tool to be able to “guess” what the programmer is about to write to suggest the next line of code. And also present complete methods, repetitive code, and even complex algorithms.

GitHub Copilot

With more than 1.2 million developers using the technical preview, GitHub Copilot has reached important milestones. For example, it already “bites” almost 40% of the Python code that reaches the Microsoft-owned platform, and everything seems to indicate that it will continue to grow.

One of the advantages of this solution, as the creators explain, is that it integrates directly (and unobtrusively) into some of the most widely used code editors, including Neovim, JetBrains IDE, Visual Studio, and Visual Studio Code.

As mentioned above, Copilot is available starting today to all developers for $10 per month or a $100 payment for a year. However, GitHub says it will be available for free “to verified students and code maintainers”.

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Members of the “GitHub Global Campus Program” will be able to access Copilot for free from the GitHub Education dashboard. So can developers working on open source projects. “Visit the GitHub Copilot subscription page to see if you are one of the open-source maintainers who meet our criteria,” GitHub says for the latter.

All those who do not meet the aforementioned requirements will also have a chance to start using Copilot without paying. On the subscription page, they will find the “Start my free trial” button, which will allow them to use the assistant free of charge for 60 days.

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