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ASU faculty and staff submit 175+ proposals to use ChatGPT Enterprise

Last month, Arizona State University (ASU) announced the launch of its AI Innovation Challenge, inviting faculty and staff to share proposals for how they would maximize ChatGPT Enterprise to transform their work. 

The result? More than 175 proposals were submitted across the university in less than two weeks.

“The outpouring of interest, questions and curiosity to dive right in [to the challenge] was overwhelming in a good and positive way,” said Elizabeth Reilley, executive director of AI Acceleration, a team of technologists dedicated to developing AI tools. “This is a reflection of the entrepreneurial spirit of the ASU community. We’re seeing people from every college and department across the university exploring opportunities for how AI can be used.”

ASU recently made global headlines by announcing a new collaboration with OpenAI, the AI research and deployment company behind ChatGPT. And today, the university is among the first to offer ChatGPT Enterprise — which provides enhanced privacy features, unlimited access to higher-speed ChatGPT-4 and additional safeguards to ASU’s intellectual property.

The AI Innovation Challenge puts ChatGPT Enterprise into the hands of faculty and staff to be at the forefront of discovery and implementation. 

Ultimately, over 100 submissions surfaced as top projects that will move forward with implementing their work.

Key stats help to tell the story 

The evaluation committee brought together leaders from the Office of the University Provost and ASU Enterprise Technology to evaluate the proposals, with considerations including innovation and originality, potential for significant impact, feasibility and clarity of the implementation plan, as well as alignment to the ASU charter and principled innovation.

As previously stated, over 175 proposals were received in the first round, which accepted submissions from Feb. 1 through Feb. 16. Among these, 105 proposals were accepted, totaling more than 800 ChatGPT Enterprise licenses being issued to faculty and staff across ASU.

A deeper examination of the proposals surfaces three key areas of impact: innovations in teaching and learning, research with societal impact and scaling business operations across the university. Among these impact areas, the majority (49 out of 105) of proposals fell under advancing teaching and learning activities. Diving further, 14 out of the 17 colleges and schools at ASU are represented among the accepted proposals.  

From ideas to impact: Projects explore AI implementation across ASU

From improving business processes to supporting teaching and learning, Jonathan McMichael from the Learning and Teaching Hub at ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering submitted two projects that earned ChatGPT Enterprise access.

The first project seeks to leverage the collective expertise of the learning designers to build generative pre-trained transformers — most commonly referred to as GPTs — that use impactful educational practices. 

McMichael shared that the Learning and Teaching Hub has developed working prototypes in ChatGPT, but has previously never been able to input in ASU data — which is now available with the ChatGPT Enterprise license — which will be a breakthrough in their work. 

“Ultimately, we’re creating these prototypes to help our designers have better conversations with our faculty,” said McMichael. The goal is to use AI-powered tools to help faculty design their courses

The second project focuses on creating student personas. The team has previously built personas as a thought exercise, with the goal of ensuring that instructional design components are inclusive of all students and to support designing concepts that are appealing to students.

To do so, the project will create student personas that are derived from empathy mapping techniques and student demographic data. These personas will be used to create a GPT that can then evaluate learning materials from these simulated perspectives.  

The project aims to provide insights on how diverse student groups might perceive and engage with instructional content, facilitating a proactive approach to making inclusive and engaging educational materials. 

McMichael stressed the importance of putting the learners’ experiences first over AI. “Even if we create something that makes us feel as though we get authentic student responses from an AI agent, that’s not good enough. We cannot overshadow the real students in our classrooms,” said McMichael. “I don’t want the AI to speak for our students. I want the AI to give them a voice in our design process.”

Improving business operations was another key area of impact. And teams from across all university departments are exploring the use of AI to enhance data analysis, create efficiencies in reporting, and more effective training support. 

Take for example Robert Brems, director of strategy and innovation for the ASU Police Department. His team will work to explore how ChatGPT Enterprise can assist in streamlining police report writing. Reducing the time that the force spends on paperwork allows them to spend more time in the community, Brems said, fostering a safer environment for ASU’s students, faculty and staff.

“Tackling the project comes with challenges—navigating regulatory and privacy issues, addressing potential biases in AI, and other ethical considerations. Yet, the AI Innovation Challenge allows us to explore viable solutions,” said Brems. “Our participation is driven by our department’s commitment to excellence and ethical AI use. Leveraging OpenAI’s ChatGPT Enterprise model in its gated enterprise environment allows us to tackle privacy concerns head-on, offering a sandbox for innovation while ensuring a level of data confidentiality.”

The ASU Police Department represents the potential for creating AI-enhanced administrative efficiency in law enforcement.

These three projects are among the 100+ proposals selected in the first round of the AI Innovation Challenge; each team has been awarded ChatGPT licenses to implement their project work over the next six weeks.

A commitment to excellence at scale  

ASU’s approach for AI innovation and adoption is being led by the university’s knowledge core — the faculty, researchers and staff who set ASU apart — to be at the forefront of discovery and implementation.

“The AI Innovation Challenge is an extension of our broader AI strategy at ASU, where we are taking an impact-driven approach,” said Reilley. “We’re not using AI for AI’s sake, but we’re using AI for what it’s best positioned to help.” 

Keep up with the AI Innovation Challenge at ASU.