Major university supports generative AI with guardrails

Major university supports generative AI with guardrails

Embracing Generative AI: The University of Hong Kong Leading the Way

Generative AI

In a world where some educational institutions are hesitant to adopt generative artificial intelligence (AI), the University of Hong Kong (HKU) is taking a bold stance. HKU is not only encouraging its teachers and students to embrace generative AI but also providing them with free access to various generative AI tools.

The university recognizes the importance of AI literacy and believes that generative AI has the potential to revolutionize teaching and learning. To support this vision, HKU offers teachers and students free access to Microsoft Azure OpenAI and OpenAI’s ChatGPT and DALL-E.

Under HKU’s generative AI policy, teachers are urged to leverage generative AI to optimize student learning. This includes fostering analytical thinking and creating creative and engaging activities tailored to individual students. Generative AI can also be used in assessing students’ work, ensuring evaluation is authentic and fair.

To address concerns regarding the responsible use of generative AI, HKU provides resources such as training and online courses. Teachers are encouraged to clearly outline expectations and provide guidance on the proper declaration and citation of the use of generative AI tools in coursework and assignments.

HKU is not only focused on integrating generative AI within its own teaching and learning activities but also aims to collaborate with universities from other regions and markets to explore the full potential of generative AI. The university has allocated funds of HK$15.7 million ($2.01 million) toward its generative AI initiatives.

Ian Holliday, who led the taskforce that formulated the generative AI policy paper, emphasized HKU’s commitment to becoming a leader in exploiting the vast potential of generative AI for the benefit of mankind. Holliday now chairs the university’s advisory committee overseeing the integration of generative AI in teaching and learning activities.

While HKU is a trailblazer in embracing generative AI, other educational institutions have expressed concerns about its potential negative impacts. In January, New York City Schools blocked student and teacher access to ChatGPT due to concerns about its impact on learning and content accuracy. Singapore supports the use of generative AI but urges students to understand its limitations and avoid over-reliance.

Despite some reservations, there is a high level of trust in generative AI. According to a global study commissioned by Teradata and conducted by IDC, almost 80% of senior executives express high or significant trust in generative AI for their organization’s future products and operations. However, 66% of respondents also expressed concerns about bias and disinformation from generative AI.

The study also revealed the need for more governance to ensure the quality and integrity of generative AI insights. While 56% of executives feel pressured to implement generative AI within their organizations, only 42% believe they have the necessary skills. However, 30% stated that they are ready to leverage generative AI today.

On the consumer side, a report by the Capgemini Research Institute highlighted the enthusiasm for generative AI in daily activities. Consumers have explored generative AI tools, with financial planning and medical diagnoses being popular use cases. However, the report also noted a lack of awareness regarding potential risks, with concerns about fake news, phishing attacks, and copyright issues.

The University of Hong Kong’s embrace of generative AI sets an exciting precedent for the integration of AI in education. By providing free access to generative AI tools and promoting responsible use, HKU aims to enable its teachers and students to become leaders in harnessing the potential of generative AI. As generative AI continues to evolve, it is crucial for educational institutions to adapt and seize the opportunities it presents. HKU’s initiative serves as an inspiration for others to follow suit and leverage generative AI to transform teaching and learning for the benefit of all.