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Professor and students around a table exchanging ideas

On today’s college campus, the impact of generative AI tools is multifaceted and touches community members who never pass or enter a classroom. From facilities to the executive suite, generative AI applications are gearing up to reserve spaces, schedule meetings, manage email, analyze data, and conduct training sessions. At Cornell, where should we focus our limited resources?

To address that question, CIO Ben Maddox is hosting a free, full-day event on May 29, 2024 and he’s invited all students, faculty, researchers, and staff to participate at the Statler Hotel or in Zoom. The first in a new series of events called Emerging Tech Dialogues, the May 29 symposium’s theme is “Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education.”

Participants will include community members from Ithaca, Cornell Tech, and Weill Cornell Medicine. Already, suggestions for posters and breakout sessions indicate a strong New York City presence. Submissions for posters and breakout session topics are due at 11:59pm on Friday, May 3, 2024.

Hot Topics Suggested by Registered Participants

Suggestions will continue to shift the trending discussion and presentation themes, but 90% of the proposed ideas in the first weeks of registration reveal four hot topic categories:

  1. AI in Education (30%)
  2. Cross-Campus Collaboration (25%)
  3. Advanced Analytics and Machine Learning (20%)
  4. Chatbots and Multilingual Support (15%)

Potential Breakout Session

For web application developer Jason Woodward, a critical aspect of the event is the opportunity to share ideas, leading to better outcomes and opportunities to collaborate. Woodward and several of his colleagues in the Cornell SC Johnson College of Business proposed a breakout session to brainstorm the application of generative AI tools for locating relevant information in internal documents and documentation.

“Creating and maintaining good documentation is valuable, but time consuming. Finding that correct documentation when you need it is even harder,” said Woodward. If his proposal is selected, Woodward hopes to discover, and to engage with, like-minded folks working with similar problems.

“If we can incorporate plain English prompt-style queries with interactive refinement and the ability to present the user with links to source material, that could be a significant improvement over traditional keyword search. This method could also require less manual skilled organization time invested up front.  Any group at Cornell with collections of internal documentation could use the techniques we collectively discover, or a service could be created for applying an AI search interface on top of standard document sources like Box or Confluence.”

Watch the IT@Cornell News feed to learn if Woodward’s submission gets selected for the symposium, and register today to attend the free May 29 Artificial Intelligence in Higher Education event in person at the Statler Hotel or in Zoom.



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