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GitLab reveals advanced AI-powered features in Duo updates
Fri, 10th Nov 2023

GitLab, the well-known AI-powered DevSecOps platform, has declared the latest updates for GitLab Duo, its innovative suite of AI capabilities. The note-worthy enhancements include the beta release of GitLab Duo Chat as a part of the GitLab 16.6 November product release, in addition to the general availability of GitLab Duo Code Suggestions set for GitLab 16.7 December product release.

The newly announced GitLab Duo Chat is an advanced natural-language AI assistant that offers users valuable real-time guidance, comprehensive insights, and practical suggestions to assist with code analysis, planning, security issue comprehension and resolution, addressing CI/CD pipeline failures, aiding with merge requests, among other tasks. Duo Chat beta will now join Code Suggestions as the two primary interfaces into GitLab's AI-powered suite within its distinguished DevSecOps platform.

GitLab Duo consists of a suite of 14 AI capabilities which includes Suggested Reviewers, Code Suggestions, Chat, Vulnerability Summary, Code Explanation, Planning Discussions Summary, Merge Request Summary, Merge Request Template Population, Code Review Summary, Test Generation, Git Suggestions, Root Cause Analysis, Planning Description Generation, and Value Stream Forecasting.

The GitLab State of AI in Software Development report highlighted that developers spend merely 25% of their time actually writing code. The implementation of GitLab Duo can significantly curb toolchain sprawl and optimise the entire software development lifecycle, leading to a drastic improvement in cycle times – up to 7x faster. It also benefits developer productivity and minimises software spend.

GitLab plans to make Code Suggestions generally available in the upcoming 16.7 December product release. Code Suggestions aids development, security, and operations teams, enabling the creation of new code and updates to existing code, thereby helping to reduce cognitive load, boost efficiency, and support teams in creating more secure software at a faster pace.

The report also revealed that a massive 83% of DevSecOps professionals deem the implementation of AI in their existing software development processes critical to prevent falling behind competitors. Furthermore, an impressive 95% voiced prioritising privacy and protection of intellectual property when it came to selecting an AI tool.

GitLab Duo has been designed to enhance team collaboration and nullify the security and compliance risks typically associated with AI adoption. It achieves this by integrating the entire software development lifecycle into a single AI-powered application that puts a premium on privacy and transparency. This privacy-first approach guarantees customers vital information regarding GitLab Duo's AI-assisted features and the secure use and protection of data.

Kate Holterhoff, Industry Analyst at Redmonk, commented on GitLab Duo's Code Suggestions, saying, "The developers we speak with at RedMonk are keenly interested in the productivity and efficiency gains that code assistants promise. GitLab Duo Code Suggestions is a welcome player in this space, expanding the available options for enabling an AI-enhanced software development lifecycle."

The Chief Product Officer of GitLab, David DeSanto, explained the significance of GitLab Duo Chat in their portfolio: "The introduction of GitLab Duo Chat furthers our momentum and focus to bring AI beyond just code creation. To realise AI's full potential, it needs to be embedded across the software development lifecycle, allowing DevSecOps teams to benefit from boosts to security, efficiency, and collaboration. Organisations have never been more pressed to deliver innovation faster at lower costs while minimising security risk, and we believe GitLab's AI-powered DevSecOps Platform can help drive that efficiency."