Published on October 31, 2023, 12:56 am

The University of Hong Kong (HKU) is fully embracing Generative AI (Gen AI) as a key competency and investing in GenAI tools. HKU has funded the Azure OpenAI Service for its staff and students to test and understand the impact of generative AI. The university has developed several chatbots using Azure OpenAI Service for various purposes, including IT support and teaching. Generative AI literacy has been officially established as a "fifth literacy" alongside other forms of literacy, and students are now taught basic generative AI skills through workshops. HKU is positioning itself at the forefront of educational innovation by incorporating AI technologies into teaching and learning to better prepare its students for the future.

The University of Hong Kong (HKU), one of the top-ranked universities in Hong Kong, is fully embracing Generative AI (Gen AI) as a key competency and investing in GenAI tools. According to Pauline Chiu, associate vice president for teaching and learning at HKU, the initial ban on using generative AI tools was always meant to be temporary. This year, a task force consisting of staff, students, and technologists has been meeting regularly to discuss the implications of Generative AI.

Chiu believes that this focus on Generative AI presents an opportunity to reinvent teaching methods at HKU. It has generated significant interest from teachers, parents, and students who recognize its potential positive impact. As part of this initiative, HKU has funded the Azure OpenAI Service for its school staff to test and understand the impact of generative AI. In September, Azure OpenAI Service became available to all staff and students at HKU as well as seven other universities in Hong Kong.

To leverage Generative AI tools effectively, HKU has developed several chatbots built with Azure OpenAI Service. These chatbots serve various purposes such as providing IT support for simple queries and answering administrative questions. Additionally, there is a general chatbot specifically designed for teaching and learning purposes. Privacy is ensured with these chatbots as they do not store any data on user queries.

Recognizing the importance of Generative AI literacy, ethics, and limitations, the HKU senate officially established it as a “fifth literacy” alongside oral, written, visual, and digital literacy. Students are now taught basic generative AI skills through workshops conducted by HKU’s Teaching and Learning Innovation Centre. Teachers are also rethinking traditional assessments and examinations by incorporating skills demonstrations or oral presentations instead of relying solely on essays.

By embracing Generative AI as a core competency, HKU is positioning itself at the forefront of educational innovation. It recognizes the transformative potential of AI in teaching and learning, and is actively incorporating these technologies to better prepare its students for the future.

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