Generative AI has opened the floodgates to so many new innovations and AI tools. From AI image generation to AI coding assistants, there is so much to unpack, and we are still learning about new applications day after day. In this article, we’re going to specifically talk about AI coding tools that can help you with software development. You can use the AI coding tools listed below to generate code, fix bugs, explain code snippets, write unit tests, and much more. On that note, let’s go through the list.
1. GitHub Copilot X
If you are a developer and looking for the best AI coding tool, I highly recommend GitHub Copilot X. It’s an AI assistant that can help you with code completion, code explanation, debugging, and more. GitHub Copilot X is powered by the GPT-4 model, which is arguably one of the best general-purpose AI models out there. It’s even better than the purpose-built OpenAI Codex model, a descendant of the GPT-3 series.
Coming to features, GitHub Copilot X is intended to be your helpful AI pair rather than your replacement. It can integrate with every part of your workflow, offer contextual suggestions, fix a piece of code, translate code, write unit tests, and much more. You don’t even need to read the whole documentation. Copilot X can give personalized answers to your queries from the documentation.
To quote some figures from Microsoft’s in-house research, Copilot X helped 74% of the developers focus more on satisfying work and 88% of developers felt more productive. In addition, for repetitive coding tasks, 96% of users were able to achieve them much faster with the help of Copilot X.
In summation, GitHub Copilot X can be your best AI coding assistant to tackle coding challenges. That said, keep in mind that Copilot X is not available to everyone currently. Individual users or businesses who already have GitHub Copilot can join the waitlist for Copilot X. Future pricing has not been decided yet, but Copilot costs $10 per month.
Check out GitHub Copilot X
If you use VS Code extensively for programming, then you can take a look at CodeGPT. It’s a third-party extension developed by Daniel San for VS Code. You can add your own API key to access ChatGPT models, including GPT-4 in CodeGPT, and start using the extension in your codebase. I have personally used the extension, and it’s one of the best AI coding tools for developers.
You can ask CodeGPT any coding-related questions and it will answer your queries right away. In addition, you can generate code, select a code snippet and ask CodeGPT to explain the function, find problems and solutions, refactor the code, document it, and much more. You can also write unit tests for various functions.
It supports 16 programming languages and other than OpenAI’s ChatGPT models, you can also add API keys from other AI services such as Cohere, Anthropic, AI21 Labs, HuggingFace, etc. If you have not got access to Copilot X, you should very well check out CodeGPT.
Check out CodeGPT
3. Codey and Studio Bot by Google
In case you are unaware, Google has also entered the AI coding assistant fray with Codey and Studio Bot. You can use Codey, a coding AI assistant on Google Colab. It’s similar to GitHub Copilot X and offers in-line code suggestions, code generation, autocomplete, debugging, and much more. That said, the feature is not live for everyone yet and only users in the US can get the first access.
Codey is built on Google’s PaLM 2 model and supports only Python as of now. You can open Google Colab, launch a notebook, and check if a “Generate” button appears on top. The best part is that it’s free to use, however, paid Colab users will be first in line to get access.
Moving to Studio Bot, Google announced a similar AI companion for Android developers. You can use Studio Bot in Android Studio for developing Android apps. Again, the feature is rolled out to US developers first and other countries will get it gradually. Google says the technology is experimental, and it will slowly add new capabilities to the Bot. As for now, you can ask it to generate code, create test cases and update APIs for better compliance.
4. Replit Ghostwriter
Replit has also announced its AI coding tool named Ghostwriter. It’s backed by their in-house large language model, which is trained on publicly available code and further tuned by Replit. It supports code completion, code generation, transformation, enhancement, explanation, chat, debugging, and more. According to Replit, it factors in the context of your project and gives a relevant response. It can also automatically detect issues in your code and suggest a fix.
Having said that, Replit Ghostwriter is not free to access. You need to subscribe to the Pro plan, which costs $20 per month. In addition to AI coding assistance, you will also get a fast workspace, high resource limits, unlimited private Repls, SSH, and more. To sum up, Replit Ghostwriter is a great way to get started with programming with the help of AI. The ability to run your code in an online IDE simultaneously is an added benefit.
Check out Replit Ghostwriter
5. Amazon CodeWhisperer
In the AI race, Amazon is not far behind and bringing powerful large language models for specific use cases. Amazon CodeWhisperer is a coding-specific LLM that can help you with programming in multiple languages. According to Amazon, CodeWhisperer has been trained on billions of lines of code, and it can generate in-line code similar to Copilot X. You can simply write a comment, and it can generate complete functions based on your existing code.
It also has the ability to identify code that resembles open-source training code, allowing you to further tag the code and attribute it with a license. CodeWhisperer comes with built-in code security as well. It can scan and analyze your code to find vulnerabilities and loopholes so you can fix them immediately.
Check out Amazon CodeWhisperer
6. GPT Engineer
GPT Engineer is a new open-source project that has quickly gained popularity among developers and is one of the best AI coding tools in 2023. It has received 11K stars on GitHub in a few days and continues to receive more features and updates from various contributors. GPT Engineer is an AI Agent similar to Auto-GPT, but it’s meant specifically for building the entire codebase for your project.
You need to tell the agent what you want to build. Then GPT Engineer asks you several questions for clarification and then it starts building it. Unlike Auto-GPT, GPT Engineer has a high success rate and developers have been able to build a full codebase using this project. It goes without saying that you need an OpenAI API, preferably a GPT-4 API. So if you are a coder, go ahead and test out GPT Engineer and check if it works for you.
Check out GPT Engineer
7. ChatGPT 4
While ChatGPT is a general-purpose AI chatbot, it’s vastly powerful at coding as well. After all, the OpenAI GPT-4 model powers most of the AI coding assistants in the market, including Copilot X and CodeGPT listed above. If you have subscribed to ChatGPT Plus ($20 per month), you can access the GPT-4 model and use ChatGPT to write code. I suggest using the GPT-4 model for programming because it’s accurate and usually responds with an error-free code.
In the HumanEval Python coding tasks, GPT-4 scored 67% with zero-shot prompting. That’s the highest an LLM has performed on the HumanEval benchmark. If you use some expert-level prompts on ChatGPT, you are likely to get even better answers. I personally use ChatGPT for coding-related questions, and it does a fantastic job of explaining, generating, and fixing the code.
So if you are a developer or a beginner in programming and looking for the best AI coding tool, I would strongly suggest using ChatGPT 4 for all your coding questions.
Check out ChatGPT 4
8. Google Bard
You can also use Google Bard to translate code from one language to another. And with a new technique called Implicit Code Execution, Bard is able to run the code in the background to accurately show output. According to Google, the new technique improved Bard’s accuracy by 30% in computation-based prompts. Moreover, you can export the code directly in Google Colab and test the output. To sum up, Google Bard can prove to be one of the best coding AI tools, and you should definitely use it to your advantage.