Google partners with AI start-up Replit to rival GitHub Copilot

29 Mar 2023

Image: © JHVEPhoto/

More than 30pc of code written by developers on Replit is generated by Ghostwriter, its AI assistant.

Google parent Alphabet has partnered with AI start-up Replit to help developers write and edit code using generative AI.

Under the partnership announced yesterday (28 March), Replit developers will get access to Google Cloud infrastructure, services and foundation models via Ghostwriter, the start-up’s software development AI.

Meanwhile, Google Cloud and Workspace developers will get access to Replit’s collaborative code editing platform that is already used by 20m programmers.

The move can be seen as Google’s attempt to ramp up competition in the AI coding assistant space, one that is currently headlined by Microsoft’s GitHub Copilot, which was recently upgraded by an integration with OpenAI’s GPT-4, its most advanced large language model.

According to Replit, more than 30pc of code written by developers using the platform is generated by Ghostwriter. As of last week, Copilot was writing 46pc of code on GitHub.

“The newest LLM [large language model] chat apps can generate code for full programs with simple natural language prompts, enabling the creation of full websites with no coding experience in minutes,” Replit wrote in a blogpost.

“But even powerful LLMs can’t run code themselves. Standalone chat LLMs do not have a project’s context. They require developers to copy and paste code from where they work to the chat app. This leads to inefficient switching of tabs and requires additional prompting.”

Replit hopes that the partnership with Google Cloud infrastructure will address some of these problems. Developers will be able to deploy and scale their applications “with a few clicks”.

“Our partnership with Google Cloud on infrastructure and AI is a clear step toward our mission of bringing the next billion software creators online,” said Amjad Masad, CEO and head of engineering at Replit.

“AI has changed software development forever. The seamless idea-to-deployed software experience that Replit provides developers will continue to set a new bar for software creation.”

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Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic