I Spent $2 on gpt-pilot So You Don't Have To

Last month, I wrote a review about code generation tools, with two standouts being GitHub's Copilot and aider.

This month, I decided to try out gpt-pilot and see if it would live up to the hype. tl;dr It didn't.

AI Is Not There... Yet

So many of these tools, such as AutoGPT, MetaGPT, GPT Engineer, etc. are really missing something obvious when it comes to code generation: they don't understand that AI is not there... yet.

If you are an expert in a subject, you will find out quickly that AI is wrong. It may not be completely wrong, but usually it's a maximum of 95% right. And that's being generous and assuming expert-level prompt engineering. These code gen tools are no different. They all seem really cool at first, get a ton of GitHub stars, but then no one is iterating past that.

The main way to fix this is to have a human-in-the-loop. This is a fancy way of saying that you have a human that is guiding the AI. It should always assume that it's wrong unless the human says otherwise. It needs opt-in automation, not opt-out (or no option at all).

If there's one 80/20 improvement that all of these projects could do, it would be adding a human-in-the-loop. Make me press Enter a bunch of times, I don't mind. But don't assume that AI is good enough to do it on its own.

Need Context for the Codebase

gpt-pilot does the first steps of the development process pretty well. It asks for a summary of the project, it generates a suggested list of tools (that it calls its architecture), and it generates user stories. After that, though, it is missing all the context related to the code.

aider sends up the relevant files, plus a summary of all the functions (via Universal Ctags). Copilot uses the opened files. gpt-pilot only uses what is returned by running things like cat package.json. Given the (very) verbose responses from gpt-pilot, I'm curious if the reason it falls on its face is that it runs out of context, or if it just doesn't have it at all.


In general, almost every tool in this space is really good when going from 0 to 1 for a small app, such as recreating Snake or creating a web app for a chatroom. However, they all start to struggle after that. If there were two different phases (and probably two different tools), such as one for planning and one for coding, that would be a huge win. That combined with human-in-the-loop would be an even bigger win.

I could see gpt-pilot helping on the planning side for now, but other tools are needed for the coding side.