To be fair, from a technical perspective, Copilot is an impressive accomplishment. The sheer amount of data that needed to be collected, indexed, and processed (every line of public code on GitHub)… that’s impressive. The A.I. that predicts the code that it thinks you will need… also incredibly impressive.
Just the same, Copilot is such an astoundingly bad idea — on so many levels — that it is truly baffling that it was created at all.
Despite the extensive use of GitHub at Automattic, I don’t know too much about Copilot. But from what I do know, it doesn’t sound good.
This specific bit related to licensing is probably the most concerning to me:
“All public GitHub code was used in training. We don’t distinguish by license type.”
Meaning, if you use Copilot to insert code into your software, you have absolutely no clue what (or how many) licenses are now involved.
GPL? MIT? Apache? BSD? Probably. Others that are likely incompatible (at least in some way)? Almost assuredly.
Looking to ship your software under a specific license? Maybe even as closed source?
Is some of your code, which you hosted on GitHub, now being used in other projects without proper attribution or licensing? Maybe? Who knows!
I have a feeling, because of the licensing implications alone, Copilot is dead on arrival.