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OIT News

AI Update for UT Knoxville

AI, shield with lock, academic building from the UTK campus

The need for Artificial Intelligence (AI) has continued to grow on our campus and throughout Higher Education institutions worldwide. The Office of Innovative Technologies (OIT) has received requests to install, approve, enable, and support generative AI applications like ChatGPT in some areas across UT.  

We are working to provide ways to meet these requests and the need for generative AI in academics and research in partnership with the Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research, the AI Tennessee Initiative leadership, the Office of the Provost, and the ChatGPT Taskforce. Part of our intentional strategy and service offerings is to offer safe environments, ecosystems, and sandboxes to use these new generative AI tools, which will safeguard institutional data while allowing innovative research and academic initiatives to be completed.   

In addition to working on providing a campus ChatGPT-like generative AI applications that will secure University data, OIT is working with university leadership to support AI research focus areas, incorporating AI into existing academic programs, and supporting investment in infrastructure and computing resources for AI in academics and research. OIT will also continue to leverage Research Computing Support (RCS) and High Performance and Scientific Computing (HPSC) resources in data science, machine learning, statistics, GIS, and qualitative analytics to support university research initiatives with future investment in Microsoft, their Azure AI cloud platforms and other OpenAI tools within their technology stack. 

OIT plans to regularly review and adapt our institutional AI strategy based on feedback from campus stakeholders as we review emerging trends and advancements. As a recent example of our collaborative approach, OIT co-hosted the Artificial Intelligence Research Computing Symposium with The Office of Research, Innovation, and Economic Development. This symposium had presentations on AI research from faculty and the community, with discussions around hardware and software needed for future AI research.  

Thank you to all our campus community for working collaboratively with OIT, as we look forward to future discussions and other engagements while AI products, services, and challenges continue to evolve. Please contact us about AI products, services, and challenges at  

Ramon Padilla
Vice Chancellor of Information Technology and Digital Innovation 

Dan Harder
Chief Academic Technology Officer