The launch of ChatGPT in November 2022 sparked public interest and spurred the development of a slew of generative AI products. ChatGPT's user-friendly interface made generative AI accessible to non-technical users. According to business research firm Gartner, generative AI looks set to become a general-purpose technology.
Generative AI utilizes machine learning models that are trained on massive amounts of data to generate relatively novel content in the form of code, text, speech, images, music, videos, and designs in response to users' prompts.
Generative AI code tools are trained on millions of GitHub and other public code repositories. These tools are used by software developers, cybersecurity professionals, data scientists, IT operations personnel, and other professionals in the tech industry.
The benefits of using generative AI include improved customer experience, more efficient software development, and better employee output. Generative AI enables developers to streamline the development process and increase productivity.
Such coding tools, of course, are not capable of building an application from scratch — they can only assist in the process. The output you get depends on what you expect from a given tool, as well as how you formulate your query. Fine-tuning such queries takes practice.
Initially, most AI code-generation tools have accuracy issues. They typically gets better with time as the tool adapts and learns.
Let's look at five generative AI tools that are ready to assist right now with accomplishing the day-to-day job functions of IT professionals. These and other AI tools can be helpful in specific cases. Bear in mind, however, that AI technology cannot solve every problem nor can it understand context the way humans do.
GitHub Copilot is a paid AI tool that helps you write code. It was developed by Microsoft in partnership with OpenAI, using Open AICodex. GitHub Copilot was initially launched toward the end of 2021. Earlier this year in March, GitHub released a version that enables the use of natural language prompts.
To use GitHub Copilot, you need to sign up on GitHub. Once that is done, it must be integrated with an IDE, such as Visual Studio Code, JetBrains, Visual Studio, Vim, and Neovim.
- Generates code in response to comments or explanations typed in natural languages or code written in programming languages
- Suggests code, using AI
- Assists in generating queries for databases
- Suggests fixes for bugs
- Generates unit tests
- Detects and filters out weak code with the help of vulnerability filters
Amazon CodeWhisperer, which was launched by Amazon in June 2022, is an AI code generation assistant that can accelerate coding speed and scan code for improved security and better functionality. It is optimized for used in the AWS ecosystem.
Amazon CodeWhisperer supports 15 programming languages and integrates with widely-used IDEs. It is capable of integration with AWS Cloud9, Amazon SageMaker Studio, AWS Lambda console and AWS APIs.
The individual tier is free. The Professional plan is available for a monthly user fee, which may be considered relatively high.
- Offers suggestions for bits of code as well as full-functions on the basis of comments and existing code
- Scans code, identifies vulnerabilities and suggests code to fix them, thereby enhancing security of codebases
- Code scans also include the ability to search for public software libraries and applicable cloud services
- Flags or filters code suggestions that appear similar to open-source training data, gets the relevant URL of the repository and the license, enabling developers to review code and attribute where required
Tabnine might be the right choice for software teams and other developers looking to speed up the coding process without sacrificing security and privacy. This tool provides for protection of intellectual property.
The basic plan is free and meant for single users. The Pro and Enterprise plans are subscription-based and suitable for business use.
- Autocompletes lines of code. Tabnine is designed to complete entire lines and functions. This helps to speed up the coding process.
- Suggests lines of code to complete full functions on the basis of function declaration
- Converts natural language comments into blocks of code
- Can learn code and adapt to the developer's style
- Enables enforcement of the configuration policy of Tabnine across the enterprise
- Minimizes security, privacy, and compliance risk because it can run in isolated mode
- Protects intellectual property by preventing code from leaving your environment and maintaining privacy of code
Codiga is an AI-enabled automated code review platform. The tool's static code analyzer works in real time throughout the development process, enabling developers to identify and rectify coding errors as they occur. This helps organizations save time on code reviews and improve productivity.
Codiga is compatible with popular IDEs, such as JetBrains, VisualStudio, and VS Code. The tool supports GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket. It is capable of automating code reviews on GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket.
Codiga monitors code over the software development lifecycle, enabling developers to view code quality as they work. The tool identifies duplicates, vulnerabilities, and violations in more than 10 programming languages and shows the number of code violations.
- Analyses code in real time
- Fixes bugs and vulnerabilities
- Helps improve quality of code with custom rules
- Enhances code security using OWASP 10, MITRE CWE, and SANS/CWE Top 25 standards
- Enables sharing and customization of analysis within teams
Safurai is an AI assistant designed to assist developers speed up the software development process without compromising on quality and security. Safurai is capable of debugging, refactoring or cleaning up code, generating unit tests, creating code documentation, and optimizing code.
Safurai is free for individual users. The Plus and Enterprise plans are available for a fee.
- Detects and fixes bugs
- Refactors and optimizes code, thereby enhancing quality of code
- Creates documentation for code, which facilitates maintenance of up-to-date documentation
- Reviews code
- Generates unit tests
- Trains on specific projects, leading to more accurate suggestions