This experimental feature aligns with the controversial Copilot. GitHub Copilot suggests lines of code to developers within the code editor and can suggest the next line of code as developers type in integrated development environments (IDEs) such as Visual Studio Code, Neovim and JetBrains IDEs. Copilot can help with boilerplate code and unit testing and suggest complete methods and complex algorithms.
GitHub is providing access to the new voice feature and is currently setting up a waiting list for interested developers. It allows developers to launch Copilot with the wake word “Hey, GitHub!”, initially introduced as an accessibility improvement for developers who have difficulty typing by hand. Since it only works with VS Code, Microsoft’s source code editor, the scope is limited for the time being, but they are working on expanding it in various ways in the future.
GitHub says the new voice assistant can understand natural language requests to Copilot to suggest code snippets or summarize what a particular section of code does. But even if the developer doesn’t want code suggestions, they can say things like “Hey GitHub, go to line 34” to navigate the codebase, switch to Zen mode to navigate the IDE, and do other things.
It’s also not yet known if Copilot will be able to interact with developers but based on the first demo published by GitHub, it doesn’t appear to be.
GitHub also announced that Copilot would soon be rolled out to enterprises. A new plan that allows companies to purchase per-seat licenses adds administrative controls so companies can manage and control Copilot deployments across their organization.