Hear about some of my mad ramblings.

You know the old theory about if you give a monkey a typewriter, given infinite time, it’ll produce the complete works of Shakespeare. The same can be said about Machine Learning, except you get a handy cattle prod and bananas too to slowly coax it in the right direction.

2 years after researches released their paper on the development of GPT-3 and a few months after the general release of GitHub CoPilot, I finally took my Microsoft blinders off and gave it a go.

CoPilot is basically just a Microsoft branded version of OpenAI’s Codex which is their coding derivative of GPT-3 - for those needing that extra context. Something that I only just learned whilst researching for this piece is the Microsoft have an exclusive license from OpenAI meaning they’re the only ones able to see the underlying model even though anyone, yes even you, can go get API access direct from OpenAI

So if I was really petty about my Microsoft disdain, I could just integrate OpenAI’s codex and completely forget about CoPilot. Microsoft however have done the grunt work for me in producing a Visual Studio Code plugin and so I guess we have to embrace a bit more Stockholm Syndrome.

So enough of my pre-amble. What have I been doing with CoPilot?

The main thing I’ve been using it for recently has been this overarching refactor of my website and as you can see by the snippet about, it’s actually pretty useful at times. The text in grey is it’s suggestions and with the exception of a single missing keyword (getPage should be notion.getPage) it saved me all that extra typing.

As I’m mostly just refactoring my page, it’s utility is limited and it mostly just gets in the way but I will come back and keep updating this page as I get more useful snippets out of it.

I don’t think CoPilot is going to put programmers out of a job any time soon but as Fireship Jeff said in his video yesterday it “feels a lot like we’re paying Microsoft for the privilege of digging our own graves”. If you haven’t come across Fireship before, I cannot recommend his style of comedic and informative programming videos and his relatively new series The Code Report brings you up-to-date with many new programming trends.

That’s all for this one at the moment folks! As I said before I’ll continue to update this post as I do more with CoPilot and as always I’d be more than happy to hear any thoughts you might have in the comments down below.