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๐Ÿ“š AI-Assisted Coding Start-Up Kite Is Saying Farewell and Open-Sourcing Its Code


๐Ÿ’ก Newskategorie: IT Security Nachrichten
๐Ÿ”— Quelle: news.slashdot.org

Kite, a start-up that has been developing artificial intelligence technology to help developers write code for nearly a decade, is saying farewell and open-sourcing its code. Silicon Republic reports: Based in San Francisco, Kite was founded in 2014 as an early pioneer in the emerging field of AI that assists software developers in writing code -- an 'autocomplete' for programming of sorts. But now, after eight years of pursuing its vision to be a leader in AI-assisted programming, founder Adam Smith announced on the company website that the business is now wrapping up. According to him, even state-of-the-art machine learning models today don't understand the structure of code -- and too few developers are willing to pay for available services. "We failed to deliver our vision of AI-assisted programming because we were 10-plus years too early to market, ie, the tech is not ready yet," Smith explained. "You can see this in GitHub Copilot, which is built by GitHub in collaboration with OpenAI. As of late 2022, Copilot shows a lot of promise but still has a long way to go." Copilot was first revealed in June 2021 as an AI assistant for programmers that essentially does for coding what predictive text does for writing emails. Developed in collaboration with OpenAI, GitHub had kept Copilot in technical preview until this summer, during which time it had been used by more than 1.2m developers. The AI was made available to all developers in June, at a cost of $10 a month or $100 a year. However, Smith said that the inadequacy of machine learning models in understanding the structure of code, such as non-local context, has been an insurmountable challenge for the Kite team. "We made some progress towards better models for code, but the problem is very engineering intensive. It may cost over $100m to build a production-quality tool capable of synthesizing code reliably, and nobody has tried that quite yet." While the business could have still been successful without necessarily increasing developer productivity by 10 times using AI, Smith said he thinks that Kite's delay and unsuccessful attempt at monetizing the service prevented the start-up from taking flight. "We sequenced building our business in the following order: First we built our team, then the product, then distribution and then monetization," he explained, adding that Kite did not reach product-market fit until 2019, five years after starting the company. Despite the time taken to get to the market, Smith said Kite was able to capture 500,000 monthly active developers using its AI with "almost zero marketing spend." But the product failed to generate revenue because the developers refused to pay for it. Smith says most of their code has been open sourced on GitHub, including their "data-driven Python type inference engine, Python public-package analyzer, desktop software, editor integrations, GitHub crawler and analyzer, and more more."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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