Artificial intelligence research company OpenAI has announced the development of an AI system that translates natural language to programming code—called Codex, the system is being released as a free API, at least for the time being.
Codex (and Copilot) parse written text using OpenAI’s language generation model—it is able to both generate and parse code, which allowed users to use Copilot in custom ways—one of those ways was to generate programming code that had been written by others for the GitHub repository. This led many of those who had contributed to the project to accuse OpenAI of using their code for profit, a charge that could very well be levied against Codex, as well, as much of the code it generates is simply copied from GitHub. Notably, OpenAI started out as a nonprofit entity in 2015 and changed to what it described as a “capped profit” entity in 2019—a move the company claimed would help it get more funding from investors.
On its announcement page, OpenAI says that it is releasing the API for Codex in a private beta to start and also notes that the company is inviting developers and businesses to give it a try. They also note that as a general-purpose programming tool, Codex can be used for virtually any programming task.