GitHub’s automatic coding tool rests on untested legal ground – Dave Gershgorn

Photo Illustration by Pavlo Gonchar / SOPA Images / LightRocket via Getty Images

Just days after GitHub announced its new Copilot tool, which generates complementary code for programmers’ projects, web developer Kyle Peacock tweeted an oddity he had noticed.

“I love to learn new things and build things,” the algorithm wrote, when asked to generate an About Me page. “I have a <a href=“https://github.com/davidcelis”> Github</a> account.”

While the About Me page was supposedly generated for a fake person, that link goes to the GitHub profile of David Celis, who The Verge can confirm is not a figment of Copilot’s imagination. Celis is a coder and GitHub user with popular repositories, and even formerly worked at the company.

“I’m not surprised that my public repositories are a part of the training data for Copilot”

“I’m…

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