Ramblings

Blog posts that aren't particularly well thought-out or written to be read, just stuff that's going in my brain that I wanted to write about.

GPT: Straight Outta Copilot

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I'm not a lawyer.

You may have heard about this thing called GitHub Copilot. It's a tool that can be integrated inside an IDE and allows you to rip off code from licensed code hosted on GitHub. It has no intelligence of its own whatsoever, and any code is spits out must have been written as-is by a human developer at some point.

Oh, wait, sorry. That was Copilot writing a blog post from the perspective of someone that doesn't like it:

screenshot of VS Code with a prompt to Copilot to write a blog post intro, and outputting the exact paragraph you've read above

There have been lots of good and bad takes on Copilot these last months, since the release of its technical preview in June of 2021 and its general availability in June of 2022 on a subscription basis.

The recurring themes are, mostly:

  • Copilot is a copyright violation machine, since its dataset comes from code written by humans (i.e. intellectual property), and code produced by Copilot should constitute a derivative work.
  • Copilot is bad for education, because it offers no guarantee of the correctness of the code written. In the hands of beginners, it can give a false illusion of competency.
  • Copilot is bad for security, because it's just making the same security mistakes that were present in