Tulane showcases AI expertise through new online hub

Tulane University recognizes the potential of artificial intelligence (AI) to reshape the educational and research landscape. As AI continues to influence all aspects of our modern world, it is paramount that we reap its benefits while preserving the intellectual integrity and human-centered model of our university.

Those are the words that open the homepage of Tulane’s new website dedicated to artificial intelligence and how the Tulane community can better understand and harness its power. The site highlights how Tulane is actively integrating AI across campus with guidelines to ensure ethical and responsible use.

“From pioneering research to transformative teaching to effective administration, AI has the power to accelerate positive change in higher education,” Tulane President Michael A. Fitts wrote in an August 2023 letter to the Tulane community that was also signed by Provost Robin Forman and Chief Operating Officer Patrick Norton.

“It can multiply academic potential and accelerate research productivity — with the promise of improving and even saving lives. Tulane’s unprecedented momentum can be driven even further forward with AI as a tool.”

The AI website is an outgrowth and compilation of the deep dive administrators took this summer to craft Tulane’s approach to AI. This effort included creating cross-campus working groups to examine how AI should be applied across disciplines and contexts while providing clarity and frameworks for creating guidelines. The working groups included experts in intellectual property, data privacy and security.

“AI will not replace us,” Fitts said, “but it will change the way we teach, learn, research and pursue careers. By tapping into the Tulane community’s renowned creativity and problem-solving acumen, our goal is to navigate, collaboratively and effectively, this uncharted territory.”

The website also includes guidelines for ethical and responsible use of AI, a news section highlighting AI research at Tulane and a section where the Tulane community can learn about upcoming workshops and training opportunities.

In the coming months, the site will feature Tulane’s latest findings on how artificial intelligence can better support its research and teaching missions as well as its students and faculty. It will also spotlight how documentation and proposals are prepared via AI and how data and other scholarly materials are accessed and organized.

“This site has been established to share the latest in AI advancements and implications for the university,” Fitts said. “It will be consistently updated to reflect the dynamic landscape of artificial intelligence, as well as to showcase the university’s active involvement in integrating and influencing the progress of AI.”

While the AI website is new, Tulane’s involvement and expertise in artificial intelligence is not. The university boasts numerous scholars and researchers who have been studying AI and its potential for many years, as well as the newly established Connolly Alexander Institute for Data Science, the Jurist Center for Artificial Intelligence and the Center for Community-Engaged Artificial Intelligence.

The Connolly Alexander Institute for Data Science aims to position Tulane as a leader in data research and pedagogy, enabling students to understand and use data in their studies. The institute also provides resources for faculty and staff to develop their own data literacy and analytical skills. The Jurist Center for Artificial Intelligence supports research and education in artificial intelligence, machine learning and data science, with a focus on using AI in applications that lead to a healthier, more connected global community. And the Center for Community-Engaged Artificial Intelligence works to design AI systems that are fair, transparent and accountable by engaging diverse communities in all stages of the AI process, from design through deployment.