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New collaboration to showcase AI capabilities in education

A new agreement between the University of Sydney and Microsoft Australia and New Zealand is set to showcase how AI capabilities can assist the education sector.

The collaboration will both increase understanding of AI capabilities and help the university harness the power of AI to research, teach and operate.

Managing director of Microsoft Australia and New Zealand Steven Worrall expressed his excitement about the potential benefits the memorandum of understanding (MoU) could bring.

“We’re excited to collaborate with the University of Sydney to explore how AI can turn great ideas into reality for Australia’s benefit, enabling the University’s vision for empowering its people with AI,” said Worrall.

“The sharing of knowledge and AI expertise between our two organisations will benefit students, educators and staff, and add to the technology as it evolves.”

The collaboration will support and accelerate research through the use of AI across disciplines.

AI technologies will support teaching by utilising generative AI will aid the university in creating materials and content for short courses that address specific skills shortages in Australia.

AI also has the potential to improve operational efficiencies at the University by enhancing staff and student services like information and issues resolution services.

Vice-chancellor and president of The University of Sydney, professor Mark Scott, said the university will provide a framework of  AI teaching and learning that other educational institutions can follow.

“This includes supporting Australia to be a leader in ethical AI teaching and learning, as well as research and applications in a fast-moving, international context. Our relationship with Microsoft perfectly places us to build on that strong foundation, looking at AI in relation to our research, education and operations,” said Scott.

Worrall said that the dangers of AI mean utilising the capabilities of AI has to be in line with both organisations’ values.

“The relationship is guided by our mutual values of integrity and excellence – these are crucial to innovating responsibly as we work together to build the nation’s future” he said.

Outside of these opportunities, this collaboration comes with the possibility of AI focused; start-ups, events, and co-developed research papers.

University of Sydney vice-president of External Engagement, Kirsten Andrews, acknowledged the importance of AI research across education and other industries moving forward.

“Our ten-year strategy aspires to ensure that the work of the University is more compelling and more important to society than at any other time in our history,” she said.

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