GitLab today unveiled Duo Chat, a new conversational AI tool that allows developers to interact with its existing Duo AI capabilities through natural language conversations. The launch marks GitLab’s latest move to bring advanced AI productivity features into the mainstream developer workflow.
Duo Chat is the newest addition to GitLab's Duo suite of AI-powered developer tools first introduced earlier this year. Through an interface similar to ChatGPT, Duo Chat lets developers get on-demand explanations of code, generate tests, summarize issues, create code, and more.
As described in GitLab's announcement, the conversational nature of Duo Chat aims to provide an intuitive way for developers to access AI, without disrupting existing workflows. Duo Chat is designed to support all users across the software development process.
Duo Chat aims to serve all stakeholders in the development lifecycle, whether they are seasoned coders or non-technical team members. It provides instant inspiration, elevates productivity by automating routine tasks, and offers step-by-step guidance, truly embodying the role of an omnipresent digital coach.
For coders grappling with unfamiliar codebases, Duo Chat is a boon, offering explanations, test proposals, and code simplification. It also promises to transform issue and epic management by summarizing content swiftly and facilitating faster planning.
On the backend, Duo Chat is powered by both Anthropic Claude-2 and Vertex AI Codey with text embedding-gecko LLMs. GitLab says it designed Duo Chat as a privacy-first tool and emphasizes that user data, including proprietary code and Chat interactions is not used as training data for their AI models. This approach aligns with developer demands, as 83% of respondents in GitLab's recent survey said implementing AI is essential, but want it built on a trusted platform.
Duo Chat comes on the heels of GitHub's announcement of powerful new features coming to its AI coding assistant Copilot Chat in December, including in-editor suggestions and slash commands.
Duo Chat highlights GitLab's strategy to integrate AI natively into its existing developer platform. With AI-driven planning, coding, security, and collaboration in one place, GitLab aims to streamline developer workflows. The launch of Duo Chat brings natural language conversations into that mix, allowing GitLab to make AI accessible while competing with AI-first coding startups.
The beta launch kicks off Duo Chat’s gradual roll out to GitLab Ultimate tier customers starting November 16.