Arizona State University and OpenAI announced Thursday they’ve teamed up for the first collaboration of its kind in an effort to empower faculty, staff and students to explore the potential of generative artificial intelligence in higher education.
University leaders said the first step in the collaboration includes a challenge for faculty and staff to submit their ideas for the best uses of AI to enhance student success, innovate research and streamline organizational processes on campus.
“We’re building this relationship with OpenAI to really examine what are all the different use cases and benefits that generative AI can bring to the ASU experience and really help guide uses of generative AI to help serve our students and help them to be successful,” Kyle Bowen, ASU’s deputy chief information officer, told EdScoop in an interview.
Bowen said that ASU’s wide variety of programs made it a great partner for OpenAI in this endeavor. Earlier this school year, the university launched a professional development program on the use of AI that engaged more than 20% of its faculty.
“ASU recognizes that augmented and artificial intelligence systems are here to stay, and we are optimistic about their ability to become incredible tools that help students learn, learn more quickly and understand subjects more thoroughly,” ASU President Michael Crow said in a release. “Our collaboration with OpenAI reflects our philosophy and our commitment to participate directly in the responsible evolution of AI learning technologies.”
ASU is already integrating AI technology into its operations — chatbots are used in nearly half of the interactions at the institution’s experience center, which works one-on-one with students, staff and faculty, Bowen said.
“These things are already kind of a part of our experience and these generative AI tools give us the opportunity to kind of supercharge those experiences,” Bowen said.
Though the partnership will focus on integrating AI into the ASU system, Bowen anticipates that the impacts of this collaboration will go beyond the university and into the wider higher education community.
“That’s part of the opportunity here. We have such a wide variety of use cases and examples and places that we’re exploring those applications of generative AI,” Bowen said. “Part of that then is the opportunity to share those lessons learned and then also working closely with OpenAI to say: here are impactful uses of these technologies, now others can benefit from those experiences as well.”
Leaders at OpenAI have expressed similar expectations of the collaboration.
“Learning is core to why so many users love ChatGPT. ASU continues to lead in innovation by integrating ChatGPT into its educational programs,” OpenAI Chief Operating Officer Brad Lightcap said in a press release. “We’re keen to learn from ASU, and to work toward expanding ChatGPT’s impact in higher education.”