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OpenAI partners with Arizona State University to use ChatGPT in classrooms

OpenAI partners with Arizona State University to use ChatGPT in classrooms

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Students and faculty can expect to use more AI on campus.

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Arizona State University (ASU) and OpenAI announced a partnership to bring ChatGPT into ASU’s classrooms.

In a press release, ASU stated that it wants to focus on “three key areas of concentration” where it can use ChatGPT Enterprise, like “enhancing student success, forging new avenues for innovative research, and streamlining organizational processes.”

ASU deputy chief information officer Kyle Bowen told The Verge, “Our faculty and staff were already using ChatGPT, and after the launch of ChatGPT Enterprise, which for us addressed a lot of the security concerns we had, we believed it made sense to connect with OpenAI.” He added that ASU faculty members, some of whom have expertise in AI, will help guide the usage of generative AI on campus.

The university will begin taking project submissions from faculty and students on where to use ChatGPT beginning in February. Anne Jones, vice provost for undergraduate education, said in an interview some professors already use generative AI in their classes. She mentioned some composition classes that use AI to improve writing and journalism classes that use AI platforms to make multimedia stories. There may even be room for chatbots to act as personalized tutors for ASU students, said Jones.

Jones and Bowen say that universities offer a live testing ground for many generative AI use cases.

“Universities hope to foster critical thinking, so we never considered closing ourselves off from the technology. We want to help determine the conditions in which this technology can be used in education,” Jones said.

Last year, ASU launched an AI accelerator program, bringing researchers and engineers together to create AI-powered services. The university also began offering prompt engineering classes to promote AI literacy.

This is the first partnership between OpenAI and an educational institution. The company has slowly begun to forge collaborations with more public-facing organizations. It announced a deal with the Pennsylvania state government to bring ChatGPT Enterprise to some state employees.