GitHub has announced a new speech recognition tool that it hopes will expand the reach of its programming tools by giving the industry a much-needed accessibility boost.
The so-called “Hey, GitHub!” will appear in GitHub Copilot in a move the company says will make the software more accessible to developers “who may not be able to use a keyboard every day.”
It also introduces new voice commands designed to understand natural language, much like smart assistants like Siri and Google Assistant.
The project stems from GitHub Next — a branch of the company dedicated to testing new features — and was announced at the company’s recent GitHub Universe 2022 event.
As well as more basic features like code navigation, checking, and summary, “Hey, GitHub!” is also set up to write and edit code.
“Just declare your intention in natural language and let Hey, GitHub! do the heavy lifting by suggesting a code snippet,” the company promises.
For now: “Hey, GitHub!” only works when coding within VS Code, but the company “hopes”[s] to expand its capabilities through further research and testing “according to a blog post (opens in new tab).
GitHub Copilot was released in June 2022 as a solution to help more people code, but the Microsoft-owned company has already come under legal fire for claims that it is making others’ code public without appropriate attribution.
One of the announcements at the event was that GitHub Copilot, previously only available to individual users, will soon be rolled out to enterprises, with added admiral controls for license management and distribution.