Ferris State University to enroll two virtual students in AI experiment

classroom computer
Posted at 3:04 PM, Jan 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-02 15:06:59-05

(WXYZ) — Ferris State University is launching an AI experiment that will see two virtual students enrolling at the school and participating in lessons and activities.

The students, named Ann and Fry, will start in the Spring 2024 semester as part of hybrid classes, interacting with classmates and completing assignments. The Big Rapids school says they will be given backstories based on real student experiences that will inform how they complete tasks like picking a major.

The program is being run by the Information Security and Intelligence Department and involves a variety of Ferris State academic departments. Faculty and staff will monitor the interaction between the virtual students and their professors and classmates, then use what they lean to apply to potential applications in educational and other areas.

The school's Artificial Intelligence program is just one of three such undergraduate programs in the country and, according to the school, has close ties to industry and government partners, including the Department of Defense, National Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security, Amazon Web Services and many Michigan companies.