AI offerings on campus — empowering teaching, research and business 

Dear faculty and staff, 

Artificial intelligence is quickly transforming the computing landscape and already has impacted, or will impact, the way each of us uses technology. While we at Technology Solutions are always cautious to ensure acceptable use of all new technology from a security, accessibility and fiscal perspective, we want to share and encourage use of currently supported AI offerings to the campus. As with all emerging technologies, AI changes constantly. Today, it is a tool that can augment and support many of your workflows, but we encourage you to use it with caution and validate all its outputs. UIC does not control or see any of the specific AI-generated content, and can’t prevent bias or guarantee accuracy. If you encounter significant unexpected or problematic AI content output, please share your experience with

As always, our focus on enhancing teaching and learning, fostering groundbreaking research endeavors and driving innovation in business applications guides this lineup of AI tools for your benefit. For the most up-to-date information, visit our webpage dedicated to AI offerings.

Microsoft Copilot with Data Protection (formerly Bing Enterprise Chat): This powerful tool leverages state-of-the-art AI capabilities to assist users with their daily tasks while adhering to stringent security protocols. Please note that it should not be confused with Copilot for Microsoft365 that is embedded into Office applications and has not yet been rolled out publicly by Microsoft or evaluated by UIC. Public data is permissible to be used in this environment. It should not be used for sensitive or high-risk data. This tool is available to faculty and staff with A5 licenses. It is not available to students.  

Box AI (coming soon, currently in limited beta): This spring, we will introduce Box AI, a solution designed specifically to provide the power of ChatGPT and similar models with the security of Box. Users can use the AI prompt and interact securely with all their data stored in Box. All data stored in Box may be used with this tool. Protected Health Information should be stored in Box Health Data Folders. This tool will be available to all users with UIC Box accounts. 

Zoom AI Companion (coming soon): Following a complete security review, all users with UIC-licensed Zoom accounts will have access to Zoom AI Companion. This tool provides in-meeting digital assistance and post-meeting notes and recaps. Some features of Zoom AI Companion may be limited due to our HIPAA-secured environment, but Zoom continues to work on full feature parity and will release updates regularly. Information on appropriate use of data in this tool will be provided upon rollout. This tool will be available to faculty and staff with full Zoom licenses. 

Adobe Creative Cloud: Adobe Express and Adobe Firefly are available to all faculty and staff and provide robust generative AI tools for creative needs. No sensitive or high-risk data is permissible in this environment. This tool is available to all faculty and staff, as well as students who have purchased Creative Cloud licenses. 

Grammarly (coming soon): Upon contract completion, Learning Technology Solutions is pleased to include Grammarly in our array of resources designed to enhance written communication skills across diverse disciplines. Our goal is to promote equity by providing a 24/7 writing resource on a secure platform. In addition to offering grammar support, style enhancement, spell checking and plagiarism checking, Grammarly’s Writing Assistant, fueled by AI, offers corrections and suggestions. This can assist users in crafting clear and concise documents and help students further develop their personal writing style. The My Grammarly cloud will be turned off, so all content should be contained in university provided storage. Grammarly should not used when working with data subjected to HIPAA and FERPA regulations. This application is available to all students, faculty and staff. 

Blackboard Ultra: The recently launched Blackboard AI Design Assistant is a robust toolkit that supports instructors in the development and design of course content. Created in collaboration with Microsoft, this innovative tool brings forth multiple functionalities facilitated by generative AI within Blackboard Learn Ultra courses. These functionalities encompass sourcing course images from Unsplash, providing assignment rubric suggestions, suggesting quiz questions based on available content, and constructing learning modules from a specified list, such as textbook chapters or information from the syllabus, covered in the course. Soon to be introduced is the Authentic Assessments feature, enabling faculty to generate discussions and journals rooted in course content, aligned with diverse levels of choice within Bloom’s taxonomy. This tool is available to faculty and staff for course development purposes. 

LinkedIn Learning resources and AI-powered career coach: To support effective professional growth journeys, we provide access to LinkedIn Learning resources, which include significant learning paths related to AI. LinkedIn Learning also provides an intelligent career coach powered by AI algorithms — helping you make informed decisions regarding your career path based on personalized recommendations. This tool is available to all faculty, staff and students. 

AI workshops: We understand that making resources available addresses only one piece of this puzzle. Creating awareness of such tools and providing training are equally important. In 2024, LTS will be offering customized workshops designed for the integration of generative AI applications in educational settings. These workshops will emphasize hands-on experiences, concentrating on the practical implementation of generative AI within a college or department, and focus on utilizing generative AI to enhance communication, foster student engagement, design lessons and generate content effectively. 

Also, as part of its spring 2024 training program, ACER will be conducting two workshops titled “AI 101.” These workshops will introduce the UIC community to GenAI tools and techniques by providing shared language and understanding of GenAI functionality, demonstrating practical insights of its applications and mastering effective prompting techniques. This will be a low code or no-code introduction to GenAI. Moreover, we’ll explore the available GenAI tools at UIC and how to seamlessly utilize them to improve productivity. 

Research support: We continue to be committed to supporting research initiatives related to artificial intelligence and the related infrastructure development necessary to perform this critical, resource-intensive work. While many of us will use AI tools provided by our vendor partners, we know our talented faculty are conducting or are planning significant research in AI and data science. Our Forward Initiative project continues to be on track for data center expansion in service of future AI and high-performance computing needs. Our ACER team is also prepared to assist community members with developing novel GenAI-powered applications in a secure “AI Sandbox” environment using nonpublic data. More details on this Sandbox availability will be shared in the upcoming months.  

We are thrilled to bring these AI offerings to our campus community. Each tool mentioned has its own unique features and security measures in place, ensuring a safe and productive environment for all users. We want to partner with you and support your needs. If you have any questions or want to share your ideas, please do not hesitate to reach out.  


Technology Solutions Leadership 

For more information, please contact:
Jason Maslanka

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