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AI providers on implementation considerations

University Business, October 2018

Vendor question:

What is the most important thing for higher ed institutions to consider when implementing AI into their student services?

“An institution should have clear objectives and goals. No one single message can change behavior, but it’s the culmination of many messages over time that does. We can’t wave a magic wand with AI and increase your enrollment, but it’s about the relentless pursuit of supporting students through every step of the process that does it.”
—Andrew Magliozzi, CEO, AdmitHub

“Today’s AI solutions are only as strong as the content that powers them. Utilize an AI engine that includes a knowledge base of subject matter expertise you can build on and grow. Implementation will be much easier, and your bots will be infinitely better.”
—Damon Vangelis, CEO, FATV

“It’s important to realize that AI isn’t a tool you implement once and then leave alone—it’s a long-term investment. Creating an AI culture at your university takes time, and there are risks involved. But the payoff that comes from fully integrating AI into your student services is worth it.”
—Mark McNasby, CEO,

LINK TO MAIN ARTICLE: Rise of the machines on college campuses

“Transparency and inclusion are critical for the successful adoption of AI in higher education. Institutions should use the technology to solve real student problems, such as enhancing student comprehension and success. Additionally, implementation must happen in a transparent and inclusive way to help shape the best future for students.”
—Cheryl Martin, director, North America higher education and research sales, NVIDIA

“Universities shouldn’t embrace AI just for the sake of doing something high-tech. Adoption of any technology to augment student services should tie to a broader institutional goal, such as promoting retention or the overall student experience, and there should be a clear, strategic understanding of what successful use of the technology looks like.”
—Daniel Thomas, managing research director in higher education, Hanover Research

“Higher ed institutions should make sure that their artificial intelligence can interpret a student’s sentiment when asking a question. That way, the AI will know the difference between handling day-to-day questions that are commonly asked by students versus more complex issues that need to be handed over to a real person.”
—Raymond Todd Blackwood, vice president, product management, Campus Management

“While AI is poised to uncover insights that were previously unavailable, it’s important for institutions to not neglect the human element. Coupling AI with human intelligence will allow the technology to act as a compass, guiding the institution in the right direction, and enhancing staff and students’ decision-making.”
—Andrew King, machine learning developer, Ellucian

Ray Bendici is deputy editor of UB.