Personalized chatbots on a new myCoyote app will provide automated answers regarding general campus information, advising, financial aid, and more.
In approximately two years, AI Cody, through a smartphone app, will remind students what classes they have that day, as well as inform students of events and activities on campus based on their interests.
“It knows you personally, what are your interests, what is your major, what deadlines are coming up, it will tell you everything,” explained Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Dr. Sam Sudhakar.
Information on events happening that day will pop up when walking by campus buildings, mentioned Dr. Sudhakar.
Information Technologies Services (ITS) is working on the overlapping administrative, academic, and social experiences encountered by students with artificial intelligence services to instantly answer the most frequent questions.
“Future innovative intelligence involves voice-activated dashboard information with Cody, personalized Chatbots for each CSUSB member, and no more waiting in lines with one-touch graduation,” said Vice President and Chief Information Officer, Dr. Samuel Sudhakar.
Second-year health science student and paraprofessional of the Office of Admissions and Student Recruitment, Becky Torres, visualized how a personalized Chatbot will enhance the social student experience. She welcomes the idea of campus events promoted through the myCoyote app.
“The notifications for people who have enrollment registration or holds would be really helpful. Working in the admissions office, we see how it could get missed on the myCoyote portal. So, this upgrade on the app will make it easier for students to access all this information,” said Torres.
The first exploration into AI and Chatbot technologies, on a smaller scale, is now available for all CSUSB members on the Office of Financial Aid & Scholarships website. CSUSB students are now able to chat with Cody Coyote 24/7, through the Financial Aid ChatBot, regarding Financial Aid questions or concerns through any electronic device.
By clicking on the chat symbol anyone who visits the website could chat with Cody concerning financial aid questions. It automatically answers questions about grants, scholarships, loans, appointments, disbursement schedules, summer aid, and much more.
“Providing that service to students any time – day or night, holidays or weekends – any time it is available to answer questions that would be helpful to students so they won’t be discouraged about the process,” explained creator of Financial Aid Chatbot, Analyst, and programmer David Vasilia.
Vasilia defined the idea behind the Financial Aid Chatbot as a way to provide understandable information to students and faculty who have a question or want to know more about the concepts involving financial aid that makes sense to them.
“Financial Aid is difficult to navigate. I was a student, I used financial aid and looked at it from a perspective of how I thought when I first started in the university, and how I wanted the information to be presented to me based on the questions that I had,” said Vasilia.
Bekky Torres, as a housing student, depends on financial aid for grants and loans.
“The Financial Aid online service helps me to regularly check the status of disbursements and reasons for holds. The rapid access to general information gives me the opportunity to ask more specific and in-depth questions in person,” commented Torres.
Kinesiology student, Ashley Baluyot, identifies the additional assets essential for CSUSB students, specifically for the many resources offered on campus.
“Navigating school resources, classes, counselor’s office numbers, or emails that are within your interest takes time. It would assist incoming students, as most are not aware of what these resources are, and it will be accessible and convenient,” clarified Baluyot.
A social work transfer student, Martin Diaz Solorio, supports the innovative future improvements on myCoyote app and sees how it will positively assist commuters.
“Everyone of us (ITS members) think how to make student life and experience on campus more enjoyable; students come to go to class, work on projects, socialize and network with professors not to stand in line to go pay fees,” said Dr. Sudhakar.