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Artificial Intelligence

Bryant University Launches Gen AI Chatbot for Community Engagement

Students, faculty, and staff at Bryant University have a new resource for accessing information, receiving guidance, and keeping up with campus events. The institution recently launched a generative AI chatbot developed in partnership with AI and intelligent automation solution provider alliantdigital.

Named AskTupper after the school mascot, the chatbot was designed from the ground up to provide a variety of services for the entire campus community, including incoming first-year students. Features include:

  • 24/7 support, providing real-time answers to questions about university policies, resources, and events;
  • Dynamic updates to campus information, from lunch menus to sports scores; and
  • Campus navigation, to help users locate facilities, offices, and upcoming events.

"In higher education, 25% of the student community is new every year so we literally answer the same questions over and over, year after year. AskTupper will be able to handle most of these questions 24/7/365," commented Bryant CIO Chuck LoCurto. "Beyond AskTupper, we're encouraging our entire community to use AI ethically and responsibly to assist them with their work."

Nearly 100 students, faculty, and staff tested the chatbot and provided feedback during its development. In addition, an annual university "Prompt-A-Thon" encourages students to experiment with chatbot designs to better serve the campus community. The inaugural event "gave valuable guidance for the usage of AI, as well as a launching off point for the next round of gen AI innovations from Bryant," the university reported in a news announcement. Bryant is also working with alliantdigital to develop and test more advanced features for the bot.

"At Bryant, we are committed to leverage AI tools and technology in our teaching, research and operations to enhance student learning and experiences," said Rupendra Paliwal, provost and chief academic officer at the university. "This partnership provides an opportunity for additional experimentation with AI by faculty and staff."

About the Author

Rhea Kelly is editor in chief for Campus Technology, THE Journal, and Spaces4Learning. She can be reached at [email protected].

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