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BT Group adopts Amazon CodeWhisperer for AI coding assistance

BT Group’s Digital Unit announces it has deployed generative artificial intelligence (AI) coding companion Amazon CodeWhisperer by Amazon Web Services (AWS), to provide coding assistance to its software engineers. This marks the first in a suite of generative AI tools that BT Group plans to introduce to enhance product development processes across the business as part of its drive for modernisation, efficiency and superior tooling for its workforce.

Amazon CodeWhisperer provides real-time AI-powered code suggestions—from snippets to full functions—in multiple integrated development environments (IDEs) based on natural-language comments and existing code, across 15 coding languages. Helping developers code more responsibly and securely, Amazon CodeWhisperer filters out code suggestions that might be considered biased or unfair and can flag code suggestions that may resemble particular open-source training data. It can also scan for hard-to-detect vulnerabilities and propose code to remediate them. Using Amazon CodeWhisperer, BT Group is improving productivity by providing its software engineers with a sophisticated coding assistant, by automating time consuming and often repetitive tasks.

The solution is already providing 15-20 suggestions of code per active user per day for BT Group, with an acceptance rate of 37% by its software engineers who are using the platform. Over 100,000 lines of code have been generated by Amazon CodeWhisperer in its first four months at BT Group—automating around 12% of the tedious, repetitive, and time-consuming work done by an initial group of volunteers. BT Group has now made the solution more widely available to 1,200 of its engineers across the business.

Adopting BT Group’s responsible tech principles, a comprehensive set of guardrails have been put in place for the business’ software engineering community to ensure transparency, accountability, intellectual property compliance and data privacy are prioritised with Amazon CodeWhisperer in place.

The roll-out has also been accompanied by a custom pathway on BT Group’s Digital Campus learning platform, as well as a number of onboarding sessions. As part of the business’ investment in its people, this will help simplify colleagues’ working routine, while ensuring adherence to the guardrails and safeguarding policies.

BT Group’s decision to implement Amazon CodeWhisperer has also been driven by the controls and openness it provides regarding training data, helping to manage risks around intellectual property claims.

Deepika Adusumilli, Chief Data and AI Officer, Digital, BT Group said: “The adoption of generative AI solutions on this scale is not just a major milestone for BT Group, but for industry as a whole. It will equip our colleagues for a world of work that is transforming overnight, in turn delivering solutions for our customers quicker than ever before. Implementing coding assistance is step one in a wider enablement move for our digital colleagues in AI-supported product lifecycle management.”

Adusumilli added: “As we embrace innovation, our commitment to safety and ethics remains unwavering. Implementing robust guardrails is not just a priority; it’s a cornerstone of our BT Group’s ‘connect for good’ purpose.”

Fabio Cerone, Director, Telco Industry, EMEA at AWS said: “BT Group and AWS share an ambitious vision for how transformative generative AI can be for businesses globally. Our work to implement Amazon CodeWhisperer is a great example of the value, efficiency and support generative AI can offer. Building software applications needs developers to spend a lot of time writing lines of code that aren’t directly related to the core problem that they’re trying to solve. Amazon CodeWhisperer changes that. For BT Group, it helps the engineering community to finish coding tasks faster, allowing them to focus on the bigger picture of how they deliver the very best solutions for the business and their customers.”

CT Bureau

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