New AI-Assisted Coding Tool Called ‘Amazing’

An anonymous reader quotes The Verge’s AI and Robotics reporter:

By scanning huge datasets of text, machine learning software can produce convincing samples of everything from short stories to song lyrics. Now, those same techniques are being applied to the world of coding with a new program called Deep TabNine, a “coding autocompleter.” Programmers can install it as an add-on in their editor of choice, and when they start writing, it’ll suggest how to continue each line, offering small chunks at a time. Think of it as Gmail’s Smart Compose feature but for code.

Jacob Jackson, the computer science undergrad at the University of Waterloo who created Deep TabNine, says this sort of software isn’t new, but machine learning has hugely improved what it can offer… Earlier this month, he released an updated version that uses a deep learning text-generation algorithm called GPT-2, which was designed by the research lab OpenAI, to improve its abilities. The update has seriously impressed coders, who have called it “amazing,” “insane,” and “absolutely mind-blowing” on Twitter…

Deep TabNine is trained on 2 million files from coding repository GitHub. It finds patterns in this data and uses them to suggest what’s likely to appear next in any given line of code, whether that’s a variable name or a function… Most importantly, thanks to the analytical abilities of deep learning, the suggestions Deep TabNine makes are of a high overall quality. And because the software doesn’t look at users’ own code to make suggestions, it can start helping with projects right from the word go, rather than waiting to get some cues from the code the user writes.
It’s not free software. Currently a personal license costs $49 (with a business-use license costing $99), the Verge reports — but the tool supports the following 22 languages…

Python, JavaScript, Java, C++, C, PHP, Go, C#, Ruby, Objective-C, Rust, Swift, TypeScript, Haskell, OCaml, Scala, Kotlin, Perl, SQL, HTML, CSS, and Bash.

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