UC Irvine opening generative AI tool to students this year

Leaders at the University of California, Irvine said they're preparing to extend a new generative AI tool to students.
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The University of California, Irvine announced on Monday that it is preparing to expand the use of its new, customized generative artificial intelligence tool to students this year.

The tool, called ZotGPT Chat, launched to all faculty and staff in January. The deployment of the tool is in coordination with a campus-wide education campaign to boost AI literacy among faculty and staff. 

“ZotGPT is about more than supporting innovation with the latest tools,” Tom Andriola, vice chancellor for data and information technology, said in a press release. “It’s also about ensuring that we provide broad access to these new tools across our community in a secure and responsible way, with the proper support structures. ZotGPT can be leveraged for teaching, research and redesigning work processes and can serve as an engine for facilitating collaboration. We look forward to fully embracing the potential of generative AI in 2024 and beyond.”

The generative AI tool is available on mobile phones and voice chat. The university said developers are working to integrate internet-enabled responses, image generation, custom chatbots using departmental data or websites and the ability for faculty and staff to use ZotGPT Chat in their own programs and research endeavors. 


“ZotGPT Chat gives UC Irvine researchers a powerful platform to explore the potential of generative AI in ways that protect the integrity of our data while simultaneously providing us access to ‘industrial-strength’ tools,” university Chief Innovation Officer Errol Arkilic said in a release. “With its access, we can cost-effectively run comprehensive experiments across a wide range of applications.”

ZotGPT was developed to protect the confidentiality of personal and institutional data, including uploaded files, to ensure that outside vendors do not use the information to train other AI models, the release said.

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