Ubisoft Applies AI To Code
Ubisoft Applies AI To Code
Written by Mike James   
Friday, 09 March 2018

Games developer Ubisoft has announced Commit Assistant, an AI system to spot errors almost before you make them. Is this the future of code?



You can argue that AI will eventually replace programmers, but at the moment this idea seems a little way off. What seems closer to home is the idea of AI code assistants. It should be obvious to everyone that the tools that we have at the moment are woefully inadequate. What is more the will to upgrade seems to be lacking in so many programmers who still insist on using the command line and emacs or similar. It is almost a badge of honour to program the hard way - not that this is how it is presented. In the future you may have to massage your ego in other ways as AI systems start to scrutinize your code.

Ubisoft's Commit Assistant seems to be a neural network that has been trained on its software library and learn from the bugs that have been found and the fixes that were applied. Take a look at the promo video:



 At the moment it isn't clear how it works. The video mentions reinforcement learning but what the actions and rewards are is far from clear. Also the idea of associating "signatures" with bugs is a little too simplistic. It also isn't clear what sort of bugs are being detected. If what we have is just a linter with a set of rules extracted by a neural network then this is less interesting.




The system have been developed as part of Ubisoft's La Forge program which gets university researchers to collaborate. In this case the academic partner is Concordia University based in Montreal.  So far, however, there are no further details.

Some mathematicians have adopted the use of proof assistants to monitor the logic of a proof while it is being constructed. It now looks as if we too might have the prospect of AI assistants helping us code. Is this the ultimate pair programming experience?


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