OpenAI has unveiled its first partnership with a university, marking a significant stride in the integration of AI in academia.

ASU will be granted exclusive access to ChatGPT Enterprise from February, deploying the advanced AI system across various domains such as coursework, tutoring and research.

ChatGPT Enterprise, introduced in August, represents the business-oriented tier of ChatGPT. It features access to GPT-4, delivering performance up to two-times faster than its predecessors, and API credits.

ASU’s strategic plans with ChatGPT Enterprise include the creation of a tailored AI tutor for students, extending beyond specific courses to encompass a diverse range of study topics.

The tool will also be integrated into ASU’s largest course, Freshman Composition, providing valuable writing assistance to students.

ASU’s innovative approach involves leveraging ChatGPT Enterprise to develop AI avatars serving as creative companions for students studying various subjects. For instance, these avatars could specialise in singing or crafting poetry about biology.

The joint release from OpenAI and ASU emphasised the security of the data inputted into ChatGPT, reassuring that the information remains secure and is not utilised for training models.

The role of AI in universities has sparked concern among academics. Since ChatGPT’s release in November 2022, some students have resorted to using AI to complete assignments.

A survey by BestColleges found that half of college students believe that using AI for schoolwork is cheating – but 1 in 5 use it regardless.

Plagiarism checkers, such as Turnitin, have proven ineffective at detecting AI – with some providing false positive results. Several universities have deemed AI detectors unreliable and have ceased their use.

In July 2023, 24 vice-chancellors of the Russell Group announced in a statement that UK universities would move to incorporate AI into their teaching and learning.

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The Russell Group, which includes the universities of Oxford and Cambridge, recently published a set of principles that says it will help teachers and students to “ethically” incorporate generative AI into their studies.