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ASU announces first partnership between OpenAI and a university

The University will have full access to ChatGPT Enterprise and will hold an open ideation challenge for faculty and staff starting February


"We’re keen to learn from ASU, and to work toward expanding ChatGPT's impact in higher education."

ASU will be the first higher education institution to partner with OpenAI to give the University full access to ChatGPT Enterprise.

"ASU recognizes that augmented and artificial intelligence systems are here to stay, and we are optimistic about their ability to become incredible tools that help students to learn, learn more quickly, and understand subjects more thoroughly," ASU President Michael Crow said in a written statement. "Our collaboration with OpenAI reflects our philosophy and our commitment to participate directly in the responsible evolution of AI learning technologies."

The University announced the partnership in a joint statement with OpenAI on Thursday. ASU’s focus on innovation encouraged OpenAI to use the University as a testing ground for mixing AI and education.

READ MORE: MathGPT is incoming; how it fits into undergraduate math education

"Learning is core to why so many users love ChatGPT," OpenAI Chief Operating Officer Brad Lightcap said. "ASU continues to lead in innovation by integrating ChatGPT into its educational programs. We're keen to learn from ASU, and to work toward expanding ChatGPT's impact in higher education."

ChatGPT Enterprise was launched in August as a business version of ChatGPT. The service includes unlimited access to GPT-4, which is nearly twice as fast as other versions. Data inputted by Enterprise users will not be used for OpenAI model training.

In the website for the collaboration, ASU states that it will help faculty and staff "explore the potential of generative AI to enhance teaching, learning and discovery." The University additionally states it will remain committed to innovating breakthrough technologies in responsible ways.

ASU intends to use ChatGPT Enterprise to create AI avatars to help students study for courses, primarily in STEM fields, and broader topics, according to a CNBC article. ASU Chief Information Officer Lev Gonick said that the University will also use the technology to help students improve their writing in ASU's largest course, Freshman Composition.

ASU will first boot up ChatGPT Enterprise by inviting faculty and staff to propose the best uses starting in February. The University said on their website that it will prioritize enhancing student success, forging new avenues for innovative research and streamlining organizational processes. 

The collaboration has been in the cards for at least six months since Gonick visited OpenAI's San Francisco headquarters. Gonick said that ASU faculty and staff had already been using ChatGPT and other AI tools before his visit.

"There's no cookbook for this yet, but the key piece is around the capabilities of moving away from the token economy β€” to using the tech in a mindset of abundance, which is what we're going to be able to do with the Enterprise version for research activities, data analysis, discovery-based work and so forth," Gonick said in an interview with CNBC.

Faculty, staff and researchers can submit proposals for ChatGPT Enterprise use starting Feb. 1. ASU will announce when students can utilize the technology at a later date.

 Edited by River Graziano, Sadie Buggle and Grace Copperthite.

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