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UMSI faculty developing new online courses about GenAI in the workplace

A graphic with a photo of Christopher Brooks and a photo of Merve Hickok, with the text "Featured by the University Record: Associate professor Christopher Brooks: Lecturer I Merve Hickok" and the UMSI logo

Monday, 02/12/2024

The University of Michigan is at the forefront of artificial intelligence education, the University Record reports. Next on the docket: a full slate of open online courses, with a condensed format ideal for working professionals who want to apply AI tools to their industries. 

“Generative AI is transforming teaching and learning in higher education, just as it has the potential to transform jobs and industries across our society,” said Laurie McCauley, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “These courses, developed by our world-class faculty at the university in partnership with the Center for Academic Innovation, will allow learners to build skills they can use to advance their careers.”

Faculty in the School of Information are developing two courses that launch in July. They have received awards from the Academic Innovation Fund to support the design of their courses.

Christopher Brooks, associate professor of information, will teach “Llama2 for Python Software Developers,” a course designed for programmers, software developers, DevOps engineers, machine learning engineers and data scientists looking to upskill. 

Brooks is an applied computer scientist who has published widely on educational technologies and human computer interaction. He has a particular interest in the use of AI in education. 

“This course helps software developers to rapidly build LLM-based software solutions using Meta's Llama2 model,” Brooks says. “The model is open source, royalty free, and a great way to gain the benefits of generative AI in settings where data can't be easily shared, including health, education and corporate systems development."

Merve Hickok, lecturer in information, will teach “Responsible Generative AI,” a series of four courses examining the possibilities and risks of generative AI technology. Hickok is a globally renowned expert on AI policy, ethics and governance.

“Generative AI technologies can be transformative, but also have a significant impact on business, society, environment and the future of work,” she says. “Such impactful technologies demand responsible approaches and the ability to critically analyze the implications for informed decision making, and govern for best results. I hope to bring the foundational knowledge to decision makers, developers and end users.” 

Read the original story in the University Record

Abigail McFee, marketing and communications writer