Microsoft’s IntelliCode for AI-assisted coding comes out of preview

IntelliCode, Microsoft’s tool for AI-assisted coding, is now generally available. It supports C# and XAML in Visual Studio and Java, JavaScript, TypeScript and Python in Visual Studio Code. By default, it is now also included in Visual Studio 2019, starting with the second preview of version 16.1, which the company also announced that.

IntelliCode is essentially the next generation of IntelliSense, Microsoft’s extremely popular code completion tool. What makes IntelliCode different is that the company trained it by feeding it the code of thousands of open-source projects from GitHub that have at least 100 stars. Using this data, the tool can then make smarter code-completion suggestion. It also takes the current code and context into account as it makes its recommendations.

By default, IntelliSense would provide the developer with an alphabetical list, which is useful but too often, the code you need would be a few items down in the list.

It’s worth noting that startups like Kite offer similar smart code-completion tools that work across development environments, though Kite currently only supports Python code.

The promise of tools like Kite and IntelliCode is to make a developer’s life easier, increase productivity and reduce the likelihood of bugs. As these tools get smarter, they’ll likely be able to look ahead even further and maybe even suggest to auto-complete larger part of a program’s code based on the context of what you’re trying to achieve and it’s knowledge of how others have solved similar problems. Until then, though, they are already a pretty good way to avoid a few trips to StackOverflow.