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AI Corner: High interest in artificial intelligence at UCOP

Editor’s note: This article, submitted by Molly Greek and John Ruzicka, is the first in a series of regular updates on AI throughout UC that ITS will be sharing in Link throughout the coming months. Topics will include AI developments, progress, tips and useful information.

Interest in artificial intelligence (AI) throughout UC, including at UCOP, has never been higher. Everyone is eager to learn about how AI works and how we can use it to save time and effort while improving accuracy. This rapidly emerging technology is very exciting, but also requires caution to keep our data secure.

The Information Technology Services (ITS) group is taking a multifaceted approach to thoughtfully introduce AI tools at UCOP while establishing best practices to help colleagues use these tools safely and efficiently. Here are some of the strategies currently underway:

  • ITS has created an initial Community of Interest (COI) around AI to gather input on communication, information-sharing and planning. We are working with vendors, other UC locations and advising organizations to develop best practices and establish guardrails for using AI tools.
  • In addition to reviewing free AI tools, like Bard and ChatGPT, we are compiling and reviewing existing UCOP tools that offer AI features, such as Zoom and Talkdesk, giving high priority to cybersecurity, privacy and legal review of the features and contracts governing their use.
  • One of our priorities is helping to clarify what staff can and can’t do with AI tools. In one example, we must take caution when using AI tools to manipulate public information, such as updating job descriptions. In another example, although a new Zoom feature can listen to a meeting and summarize the conversation, users need to know to rigorously review and edit this summary before sharing or distributing it. Staff should wait to deploy features like these until we ensure that the right controls are in place to protect our data.
  • UCOP department leaders are participating in learning and training opportunities related to AI at upcoming events and conferences, including the AI Congress at UCLA hosted by ITS and Academic Affairs.
  • ITS is hiring a product manager position to focus on AI and automation, with the goal of building a team with dedicated staff to support UCOP’s AI needs.
  • In partnership with Systemwide Procurement, UC chief information officers are negotiating a systemwide agreement with Open AI, which owns ChatGPT, one of the most commonly used AI tools. We are also negotiating with Microsoft to license Office 365 AI tools; implementation will depend on the budget and strategy of each UC location.

Several AI groups are being established systemwide, and our UCOP AI advisory group will help coordinate and prioritize the many opportunities. If you have questions about our initiatives or priorities, contact

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