CodeWhisperer is the Creepiest AWS Product Name Yet

Posted on Wednesday, Apr 19, 2023 by Ned Bellavance

Featured in this episode of Chaos Lever

Like I am mildly uncomfortable just typing it. I don’t want AWS whispering to my code, cooing at it, soothing it, allaying its fears. I want my code unruly, riddled with bugs and anxiety, just like me.

Basically, CW (wow - the initials are the same as content warning), is AWS’ answer to GitHub Copilot. The preview was launched last year, and now as of April 13th, the product is GA. Among the supported IDEs is VS Code, IntelliJ, and PyCharm. You don’t even need to install the extension locally, you can simply fire up a remote IDE in Cloud9 (ewww) or AWS Lambda console.

CodeWhisperer is also able to flag code that is insecure, biased (whatever that means), or looks like open-source training data. When it makes a suggestion, you can have it provide more context, like the repository URL and license associated with the suggested code, if applicable. This feature alone is worth focusing on. A big point of contention with Copilot was how it borrowed (stole) code without attribution. It appears that the AWS CodeWhisperer team is trying to do better by borrowing and citing in a way that is transparent.

CodeWhisperer is available for free to individual users, who can sign up with just an email. You don’t even need an AWS account. The primary difference between the free and paid tier is the number of supported security scans and license and policy management. Despite the terrible name, I plan to give CodeWhisperer a whirl.