University of Michigan and IBM Launch AI-powered Advising System

ROBO COUCH THERAPY: How can artificial intelligence help students meet academic and professional goals? The University of Michigan and IBM are working together to explore that question. They launched a $4.5 million collaboration to develop an academic adviser driven by cognitive computing.

Called Project Sapphire, the multiyear partnership combines IBM’s resources with scientists and students at the University of Michigan’s Artificial Intelligence Lab. The team will capture approved human-to-human conversations between undergraduates and their advisers and will train the system on how to guide students and topics including course selection and career advice.

UM says the system is meant to complement—not replace—human advisers. Good thing, since students are lukewarm toward Integrated Planning and Advising Services (IPAS) systems.

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