March 2024 video message

Hello colleagues and friends across the U-M community! 

Spring is a season of new beginnings, and one of the new beginnings we’re most excited about here is in artificial intelligence and Generative AI. 

Generative AI is a tool that not only searches and analyzes existing information, but can learn patterns, structures and features, and can create new content, such as music, text and images. 

As such, Gen AI has incredible promise for teaching and learning, for research and innovation, and even design and artistic creation. However, it also brings with it significant challenges and potentials for misuse.

At U-M, we’re committed to being a leader in the development and appropriate use of GenAI, and in seeing that our use is infused with our values of equity and accessibility, privacy, respect and integrity. 

Last fall, we became the first university in the world to provide custom AI services to our community, including U-M GPT, U-M Maizey and the U-M GPT Toolkit. Our goal in doing so was to provide Gen AI tools that were innovative, private, and accessible to all. 

Our students, staff and faculty have engaged, and thousands are using those services every day. Members of our faculty have developed 24/7 AI tutors for their classes, and our tools are also being used to drive student and faculty led-experiments exploring the responsible, legal and ethical use of AI. 

Those services, which have been significantly enhanced, will continue to be available at no cost to our students, staff and faculty throughout the rest of the 2023-2024 academic year. 

In addition to our efforts on campus, we are striving to expand our partnerships with the Department of Energy’s national labs, premiere institutions of discovery and innovation which have many of the most innovative and fastest supercomputers in the world. 

One of the outstanding individuals leading U-M’s Gen AI efforts is Dr. Ravi Pendse, this month’s Portrait of a Wolverine. 

Ravi is our vice president of information technology and chief information officer. In addition to cosponsoring our first GenAI advisory committee, he led the development of the custom suite of AI tools which are available to our community. 

Ravi has joined us to talk more about our incredible AI services and why they’re so important to the future of our university. 

[Portrait of a Wolverine: Ravi Pendse] 

For all these efforts and achievements, we’re confident that this is just the beginning. 

The use of GenAI will continue to grow, and it may well develop in unexpected and challenging and amazing ways. 

It is contingent upon us at U-M to be leaders, not only in innovation and technology development, but in ethics and integrity, and to ensure that the incredible vibrancy of GenAI is infused with our best traditions and values as a university. 

Thanks again for joining us, and I’ll see you in April for a special video message.