DIY Technology Support Using Artificial Intelligence

Articial Intelligence (AI) will soon underlie the functioning of many products and services, and will be needed to analyze the tremendous amounts of available data. Articial intelligence already surrounds us – for example in search engines, speech recognition, image classification, pathfinding, fraud detection and virtual assistants. In the future it may predict the resources students need before requesting them, route them to the appropriate department for information simply by asking a question, or guide students through the most successful path to graduation.

Funding from this grant launched a pilot project that provided students with 24/7 access to answers to their technology questions without needing to search the website or call the Help Center using the power of artificial intelligence as harnessed in IBM Watson.

IBM Watson leverages information already available from various sources (i.e. IT website information, academic technology content, social media data, surveys, external technical content) and presents the information to the students in a targeted way in response to each student question. This technology can provide students with access to the support they need right from their mobile device through data input or using voice recognition.

At the conclusion of the grant, Cal State Northridge shared the findings via a recorded webinar that described the work, offered suggestions for other campuses on how to get started with similar projects, and identified opportunities for future collaborations across multiple CSU campuses (including initiating an AI IBM Watson Communities of Practice).

Principal Investigator

Ben Quillian, Cal State Northridge

Grant Cycle

Spring 2017