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OpenAI announces its first partnership with a university

by SuperiorInvest

Sam Altman, CEO of OpenAI, attends the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) CEO Summit in San Francisco, California, USA, on November 16, 2023.

Carlos Barria | Reuters

OpenAI announced its first partnership with a higher education institution on Thursday. Starting in February, Arizona State University will have full access to ChatGPT Enterprise and plans to use it for courses, tutoring, research, and more.

The partnership has been in the works for at least six months, when ASU CIO Lev Gonick first visited OpenAI’s headquarters, which was preceded by the company’s earlier use of ChatGPT and other AI tools. of university faculty and staff, Gonick told CNBC in an interview. .

ChatGPT Enterprise, which debuted in August, is the enterprise tier of ChatGPT and includes access to GPT-4 with no usage limits, up to two times faster performance than previous versions, and API credits.

With the OpenAI partnership, ASU plans to create a personalized AI tutor for students, not only for certain courses, but also for study topics. STEM subjects are a focus and are “the make-or-break subjects for much of higher education,” Gonick said. The university will also use the tool in ASU’s largest course, Freshman Composition, to offer students writing help.

ASU also plans to use ChatGPT Enterprise to develop AI avatars as a “creative companion” for studying certain topics, such as robots that can sing or write poetry about biology, for example.

Gonick said ASU’s engineering crash course has become one of the university’s most popular courses, not limited to engineering students. Access to ChatGPT Enterprise means that students will no longer be limited by usage limits. He also said that after conversations with OpenAI leaders, he is confident that the tool provides a “private garden environment” that will safeguard students’ privacy and intellectual property.

The joint statement from OpenAI and ASU specified that any input requests from the ASU community to ChatGPT “remain secure” and that OpenAI “does not use this data for its training models.”

AI chatbots like ChatGPT have drawn criticism in the past year over concerns about cheating, and several school districts, including districts in Seattle, Los Angeles and New York City, outright banned the tool.

“There is no recipe book for this yet, but the key piece revolves around the capabilities of moving away from the token economy and using technology with an abundance mentality, which is what we will be able to do with the Enterprise version. research, data analysis, discovery-based work, etc.,” Gonick told CNBC.

In a statement, OpenAI COO Brad Lightcap said the company is “interested in learning from ASU” and expanding the use of ChatGPT by higher education institutions.

“As OpenAI begins to explore how to go to market or align a business for universities, they are looking for a design partner, a thinking partner, and I think that’s an important measure why we’ve come together today to do this announcement.” Gonick told CNBC.

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