Introducing Devin-the first AI software engineer in the world who can develop, debug, and implement code

13th March, 2024
Introducing Devin-the first AI software engineer in the world who can develop, debug, and implement code

Devin can take a simple command and turn it into a working website or software program, earning it the title of “first AI” in the world.

Cognition, a startup based in the US, has introduced Devin, an AI software engineer poised to transform the landscape of coding, debugging, and deployment processes.

Devin is being celebrated as a groundbreaking innovation, touted as the world’s premier AI of its kind due to its capability to translate simple prompts into fully functional websites or software programs.

Supported by Founders Fund, the startup asserts that Devin has set a new benchmark in software engineering, excelling on the SWE-bench coding benchmark, passing rigorous engineering interviews at top AI firms, and completing real tasks on platforms like Upwork.

SWE-bench evaluates software engineering proficiency through 2,294 problems sourced from GitHub issues across 12 prominent Python repositories.

Let’s delve into Devin’s capabilities:

What is Devin?

Devin stands as a software development assistant transcending conventional code completion and suggestions. Unlike large language models (LLMs) such as OpenAI’s ChatGPT or Google’s Gemini, Devin autonomously manages the entire software development lifecycle, from inception to deployment.

Armed with its own command line, code editor, and browser, Devin operates independently, systematically constructing software through incremental task breakdowns.

What can Devin do?

Devin orchestrates complex engineering endeavors involving myriad decisions. It learns from past encounters, recalls pertinent context, and rectifies errors autonomously.

In a demonstration, Devin adeptly adds a print statement to rectify an error, showcasing its capacity for swift issue resolution.

A print statement is a code line used to display messages, aiding programmers in identifying code errors. Devin also collaborates actively with users, providing real-time progress updates, receiving feedback, and collaborating on design choices.

Additionally, Devin swiftly grasps unfamiliar technologies through article readings and can even train and refine large language models by drawing insights from research repositories.

How does Devin perform?

Although a comprehensive technical report is pending, Cognition claims Devin exhibits superior coding skills, outperforming other AI models in problem-solving proficiency. Evaluated on the challenging SWE-bench coding benchmark, Devin excels in resolving real-world GitHub issues encountered in open-source projects.

It boasts an impressive 13.86 percent issue resolution rate, surpassing competitors like Anthropic’s Claude 2 at 4.8 percent and GPT-4 at 1.8 percent.

Who backs the startup?

Founded by Scott Wu, Steven Hao, and Walden Yan, Cognition secured $21 million in Series A funding led by Peter Thiel’s Founders Fund. Other notable investors include former Twitter executive Elad Gil and VC firm Conviction founder Sarah Guo.

The 10-member founding team, all International Olympiad for Informatics gold medalists, have extensive experience in applied AI, having worked with leading companies such as Cursor, Scale AI, Lunchclub, Modal, Google DeepMind, Waymo, and Nuro.

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The Future of Software Development

The tale of Devin, the AI software engineer, is truly captivating, showcasing a significant leap forward in artificial intelligence and its integration into software development.

This technological advancement holds the potential for a dual impact. On one hand, it promises to streamline the development process, diminishing repetitive tasks, and empowering human engineers to delve into more intricate and imaginative challenges. Conversely, it prompts inquiries regarding the evolving role of human software engineers and how they will coexist with increasingly adept AI systems.

It’s essential to recognize that while AI can automate numerous tasks, the inventive and innovative elements of software development, coupled with human supervision, remain indispensable. AI systems such as Devin could serve as potent aids, yet they are unlikely to entirely supplant the necessity for human expertise.