CODERS WITHOUT enough time on their hands could find a new tool helps boost their productivity, with an AI twist.
TabNine is a bit like the auto-complete feature in Gmail. As you start typing, it uses its silicon smarts to suggest the end of the line of code, saving you from typing manually. It's an advance on the DeepCode tool we saw last year.
Although TabNine isn't new, the addition of a neural network means that the suggestions become instantly quicker and more accurate.
As the developer, Jacob Jackson, an undergraduate at the University of Waterloo says, despite there being a huge rise in the number of developers using AI, there's been very little to utilise the technology to help them.
"Neural networks are state-of-the-art in many academic domains, and they have been deployed in production for tasks such as autonomous driving, speech synthesis, and adding dog ears to human faces," he said. "Yet developer tools have been slow to benefit from these advances. To use a surprisingly common idiom among software blogs, the cobbler's children have no shoes."
Initial reviews on social media have been remarkably positive, with testers describing it as "incredible", "phenomenal" and "scary" in equal measure. Particularly notable is the fact that it works equally well in any language.
That's because it has been trained on two million files from GitHub, giving it the broadest vision of what code is and what it does, ever fed to a neural network.
TabNine doesn't store your code in the cloud, and all transfers take place over TLS encryption - vitally important given the potential value of some of the data passing through its servers. Alternatively, you can keep the whole thing operating locally, though your predictions won't be as good.
TabNine costs $49 for individuals or $99 for business (per seat). The upgraded version is available for free whilst in beta, but is being rolled out slowly, with existing paying customers getting first dibs. When the stable version is released, the cost of the existing version will be deducted from the price of the stable version. μ
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