CTO point of view: How will ChatGPT impact higher education CIOs?

David King
David King is CTO at Flywire.

Lately I have been asked a lot about how ChatGPT will impact higher education and the technology sector. As I have pondered how to answer this question, I decided to take the view of how ChatGPT could help CIOs at higher education institutions and how Flywire is considering leveraging it.

First, it is important to understand what ChatGPT is and how it works. ChatGPT is a language model trained by OpenAI that uses machine learning algorithms to generate human-like responses to questions or prompts. It is trained to understand natural language, like two humans talking, and generate a response.

One of the main ways in which ChatGPT could impact CIOs is by reducing the workload of support staff. With ChatGPT, students, family members, and faculty can ask questions and get answers without the need for human intervention. Using ChatGPT to handle the routine questions means that support staff can focus on more complex issues and tasks that require human expertise. As a result, CIOs can allocate resources more effectively and deliver support services more efficiently.

Another way in which ChatGPT could impact CIOs is by improving accessibility to information. University websites are vast and complex to navigate with thousands of pages in many cases. ChatGPT can provide a simple and intuitive interface that makes it easier for users to find information. ChatGPT can also play a critical role in the billing and payment process to help answer questions about a student’s account. It can be used to help provide information to international students about how to make a safe and secure payment in their preferred in-country method. Flywire is looking at ways to leverage ChatGPT within its billing, payment, and payment plan solution to help deliver an improved student financial experience.

In addition, ChatGPT can help CIOs and Student Financial Services better understand user needs. By analyzing the questions that users ask and responses they receive, CIOs can gain insight into what information is important and optimize ways to present information and reduce the routine billing and payment questions.

ChatGPT does not come without its challenges for the CIO in higher education. ChatGPT could be accessing FERPA data and the CIO will need to make sure it is delivered securely and accurately in order not to have a FERPA violation. Additionally, let’s not forget that ChatGPT is based on machine learning algorithms and is reliant on the data that it is trained on which could lead to biases in its responses. CIOs will need to ensure that the training is diverse and that the learning model is kept current to ensure it continues to provide accurate and unbiased responses.

ChatGPT has the potential to help the CIO at a higher education institution by allowing support staff to focus on the complex problems, improving information accessibility, and gaining insights into student and family needs. However, it comes with its set of challenges that must be carefully considered when implementing it into the operations of the university.

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