Google Cloud Challenges Microsoft's AI GitHub Copilot with Gemini Code Assist

Google Cloud announced a new AI-powered coding assistant to challenge the multiple Copilot tools that Microsoft has infused into its Azure platform and just about every other thing it sells.

Microsoft capitalized on a huge investment into generative AI pioneer OpenAI to create GitHub Copilot, the original "AI pair programmer," after which Google declared a "code red" to catch up. An early offering in that effort was called Duet AI, later called Gemeni, which is based on advanced generative AI tech provided by a new family of large language models (LLMs) said by Google to outperform offerings from competitors.

This week, at the start of its Google Cloud Next '24 event, the company announced "Gemini for Google Cloud," along with the Gemini Code Assist application development component, similar to GitHub Copilot tooling that comes in Microsoft's Visual Studio IDE, the open-source-based Visual Studio Code editor and even IDEs from other companies like JetBrains.

Google emphasized its new coding tool does much the same (except for the Visual Studio IDE), accommodating even Microsoft-owned GitHub.

Gemini Code Assist in Action
[Click on image for larger, animated GIF view.] Gemini Code Assist in Action (source: Google Cloud).

"We are announcing Gemini Code Assist, the evolution of the Duet AI for Developers, which now uses our latest Gemini models," Google said. "It offers AI-powered assistance to help developers build applications with higher velocity and quality in popular code editors like VS Code and JetBrains. Gemini Code Assist is an enterprise-grade coding assistance solution that supports your private codebase wherever it lives — on-premises, Gitlab, Github, Bitbucket, or even across multiple repositories. Built with robust enterprise features, it enables organizations to adopt AI assistance at scale while meeting security, privacy, and compliance requirements."

Other components of Gemini for Google Cloud offer functionality ranging from security to data to BI.

Gemini for Google Cloud
[Click on image for larger, animated view.] Gemini for Google Cloud (source: Google Cloud).

Feature highlights of the coding tool as presented by Google include:

  • Full codebase awareness: Unlock the full potential of your codebase with Gemini Code Assist's full codebase awareness feature, now available in private preview. Make complex changes, add groundbreaking features, and streamline updates with deep understanding using Gemini 1.5 Pro, Google's state-of-the-art model with the world's largest context window.
  • Transform your code effortlessly: With the new code transformation feature, available today in Cloud Workstations and Cloud Shell Editor, you can now use natural language prompts to tell Gemini Code Assist to analyze, refactor, and optimize your code.
  • Extended local context: To support tasks requiring information across multiple code files with higher accuracy, Gemini Code Assist now automatically retrieves local files from your IDE workspace that are relevant, and displays references to the files used.
  • Code customization: Integrate your private codebases, and repositories for hyper-personalized (private preview) code generation and completions powered by our Gemini models. Gemini Code Assist now connects to multiple source-code repositories, including GitLab, GitHub, and Bitbucket.
  • Integration services: We are expanding the reach of Gemini Code Assist with Apigee and Application Integration to access and connect your applications.

Gemini Code Assist is available to try at no cost until July 11, 2024, limited to one user per billing account, after which it will cost $19 per user per month with an upfront annual commitment.

For more news on this week's Google Cloud Next '24 event, see sister publication articles "Google Turns Gemini Into a Team of AI Cloud Assistants" and "Google Cloud Unveils Vertex AI Agent Builder for GenAI Agent Development."

About the Author

David Ramel is an editor and writer for Converge360.


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