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As we settle into this new academic year, I can’t help but feel a mix of excitement and responsibility. The world of higher education is evolving faster than ever, and with it, the way we engage with students must also evolve.

It’s no secret that today’s students are different. Empowered by technology and shaped by the convenience of their favorite digital mediums like Amazon and Netflix, they’re looking for quick, personalized and value-packed experiences. But meeting these expectations is hard, especially for marketing and communication teams still wrestling with outdated systems and a shortage of talent and resources.

AI has the power to revolutionize higher education, making our ability to reach and engage students—no matter the size of your team—more effective and efficient than ever.

McKinsey reports that generative AI “has the potential to change the anatomy of work” and will bring about a wave of productivity. Industries from retail and manufacturing to health care will see anywhere from a 15 to 30 percent productivity increase.

Think about some of the things you and your team need to accomplish:

  • Develop highly personalized marketing campaigns
  • Answer repetitive student and parent inquiries
  • Plan and manage well-attended events
  • Make every individual student interaction feel unique
  • Gather and interpret data

AI-powered technology improves effectiveness and efficiency for all of these tasks and more, enabling institutions to truly understand and connect with students on a personal level and provide the timely and tailored experiences they crave.

Overcome Barriers to Content Personalization

Predictive and generative AI are soon to be working hand in hand to automate personalization in ways we’ve never seen before.

Implementing an intelligent chat bot to support your constituents is one of the most actionable use cases of this next-generation tech. Bots built on OpenAI are capable of engaging in humanlike conversations with students that rival the experience of talking to a live agent.

AI chat bots reduce teams’ workloads while ensuring accurate and individualized information reaches each student.

  • Within a week, Forsyth Technical Community College saw a 14 percent decrease in call volume. In the first four months, its chat bot successfully answered 90 percent of the 5,100-plus questions received without the need for human intervention.
  • Trinity Valley Community College—with a team of four—increased its communications by 40 percent in one week.
  • Georgia State reduced summer melt by 22 percent.

This isn’t just a minor enhancement—it’s a complete transformation in how we interact with students.

Artificial Intelligence to Shape the Future of Education

We’re at a pivotal moment, an invitation to lead, innovate and shape a future where education is more accessible and responsive to students’ needs.

And we can start this revolution well before students enter college. With the help of technology, we can address learning disparities early, preventing the gaps from K-12 that often surface later in higher education. Organizations like Khan Academy are at the forefront, using AI tutors to offer individualized growth and development to every student.

Initiatives like those by the Gates Foundation are leading the charge, ensuring that technology reaches early education and creates a more equitable and effective learning environment. The promise of tailored education for every student is within reach, and it’s technology that holds the key.

So, this academic year, let’s embrace AI with open arms. Let’s leverage AI to engage students in ways that resonate and shape the future of education itself.

Ardis Kadiu is an entrepreneur, technologist, AI fanatic and founder and CEO of Element451.

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