‘Genie’ is Deakin University’s new digital foundation for building a model of education that embraces the behaviours, needs and expectations of a digital generation.
Powered by artificial intelligence and machine learning, the smart personalised assistant proactively guides students through complex university and academic processes. Students are encouraged to download the application to their smartphone and can ask Genie about almost anything to do with university life, using a familiar chat interface and voice recognition.
Genie responds quickly to student’s requests with helpful information when they need it, where they need it, including:
• Briefings about what’s coming up next and where
• Timetabling and assignment due dates
• Referencing and study support
• Required unit readings and resources.
Certain conversational cues will also intuitively trigger Genie to connect students to peers, support staff and teachers when the need for human engagement arises.
The application provides conversations and responses using natural language processing, drawing on content from enterprise systems to provide a seamless, hyper-personalised user experience. Genie's effectiveness also goes beyond Deakin’s boundaries, as it’s designed to integrate with external digital assistant services such as Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa.
Genie is constantly ‘learning’ about students’ preferences; academic progress; interactions with the university environment; and learning content.
It doesn’t just react to queries, it also predicts needs, automatically undertaking repetitive tasks, prompting with ‘just-in-time’ information; assisting with planning and motivation. It’s able to alert students to time-critical information via opt-in notifications; from emergency information through to the latest cafeteria promotion.
Genie allows Deakin to be further attuned to students’ ever-evolving individual needs. By gathering and analysing data, the app provides a myriad of information to make calculated plans and decisions about how Deakin can improve the design and delivery of services, ensuring the University addresses students’ requirements now and into the future.