Over the next few months, UC Irvine and UC San Diego will roll out campuswide artificial intelligence programs.

Dubbed “TritonGPT Chat” and “ZotGPT Chat,” these downloadable, web-based programs aim to improve job productivity among staff and faculty for now with plans to eventually open them up to students as well.

At UCI, a beta version of ZotGPT was launched for all faculty and staff in early January, with access for students anticipated to arrive later this year.

Similar to the well-known AI interface ChatGPT, ZotGPT can assist users in anything from lesson planning to writing email templates.

The difference, said Tom Andriola, vice chancellor for data and information technology at UCI, is that this platform is overseen by UCI, meaning data put into the platform won’t go outside the university’s “walls,” unlike other platforms where data is not protected. According to a news release, ZotGPT was developed to protect the confidentiality of personal and institutional data, including uploaded files, to ensure that outside vendors do not use the information to train other AI models.

“How you interact with this tool and in this environment, that information won’t get out, which is something that is fear-producing in a lot of people regarding AI,” Andriola said.

Users can receive internet-enabled responses to various prompts, create image generation and utilize custom chatbots using departmental data or websites. Faculty can also use it for their own software programs or research.

“Everyone is trying to figure out how these tools will impact both short-term and long-term, what we do in universities,” Andriola said. “We are looking at it as, ‘How are these tools going to impact and influence the way teaching and learning happens in the future?’”

Andriola said that although ZotGPT is the main way the school is trying to utilize AI, he sees it as a possibility to assist other industries, including UCI’s hospital and medical work.

At UCSD, TritonGPT has been underway for two months in an early user program stage, and this week, the program will give campus employees in the Vice Chancellor-Chief Financial Officer office access to use the program, according to a press release. Other areas in the vice chancellor’s office, such as the campus and health sciences area, will be given access in April and May.

TritonGPT is intended to serve as an assistant rather than an authoritative source, according to the release. It will have features that will help users “do their job more efficiently” by answering questions about UCSD, writing job descriptions or answering campus-specific prompts.

“As artificial intelligence continues to rapidly impact higher education, UC San Diego is leading the way in leveraging the potential of new technologies to improve the way we live, work and learn,” UCSD Chancellor Pradeep K. Khosla said. “TritonGPT is a byproduct of the culture of collaboration and risk-taking that infuses our institutional DNA and the continuation of UC San Diego’s decades of leadership at the forefront of AI research and innovation.”

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Eventually, TritonGPT will be rolled out to approximately 20,000 faculty and staff at the school, making TritonGPT one of the largest initiatives in higher education utilizing a supercomputer center, Chief Information Officer Vince Kellen said.

There are no immediate plans to make TritonGPT available to students, said Brett Pollak, UCSD’s senior director of workplace technology services, but students who work in staff roles in the vice chancellor’s office will be given access depending on their roles. It is a goal, however, to open it up to all students eventually.

At both schools, different campaigns to improve AI literacy are underway for staff and faculty as the technology improves.

At UCSD, the university has created a “training hub” where users can get started with the new platform and learn tips and tricks for future AI use. UCI has a similar training plan, providing free online courses explaining its platform and AI to all staff and faculty.