Generative Artificial Intelligence

Student sitting in comfortable chair on a laptop.

Campus wide AI efforts

Many faculty, staff, and students are utilizing generative AI. Artificial Intelligence isn't a new concept; it traces back to the 1950s with the emergence of computers. AI is omnipresent. It's integrated into various facets of our lives, from healthcare and finance to transportation, retail, manufacturing, and agriculture. In the Fall of 2022, generative AI hit fast and furious. It was all of a sudden everywhere all at once. One of our main tenets in ITS is to be a good campus partner to you as new technologies are released. We want to bring AI tools into everyone's hands, while paying attention to security, accessibility, and cost. Our AI initiative includes an array of tools available to the campus, such as Microsoft Copilot and others. These tools provide a range of generative AI options from text-based chat, code generation, real-time online resources, image generation, video creation, digital marketing and many, many others that are in development. 

Artificial Intelligence is an integral part of the present and future at Iowa State University. We know we have some work to do to position ourselves to harness AI's full potential and will continue through collaborative efforts and innovative initiatives to advance research, education, and societal well-being.

Reach out to the committee via email.


The purpose of the committee is to guide our institutional AI strategy. Our general principles are as follows:

  • Define Purpose: Clarify each department’s vision, mission, and goals, and explore how AI can bolster them.
  • Assess the Landscape: Evaluate our current AI capabilities, infrastructure, data availability, talent pool, and organizational culture. Identify gaps and opportunities.
  • Ethical Framework: Establish principles, policies, and governance for responsible AI use, aligning them with our university’s values.
  • Strategic Prioritization: Identify high-impact AI use cases that align with our overall objectives.
  • Roadmap and Execution: Develop a practical plan for implementing, scaling, and sustaining AI initiatives. Define roles, responsibilities, and necessary resources.
  • Continuous Evaluation: Regularly assess performance and adjust our approach as needed.


There are five subcommittees formed from the main committee to bolster additional campus representation and action, each considering ethical implications, are as follows:

  • Policy
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Research
  • Communications
  • Operational Efficiencies

Key Tasks

Below are the four key tasks each subcommittee was asked to undertake:

  • Convene a Diverse Team: Assemble a group of 3 to 4 individuals who share an interest in the intersection of AI and our field. These team members need not be part of the existing task force; fresh perspectives are valuable.
  • Campus Inventory: Take stock of existing activities, groups, and resources related to AI on campus. We’ll create a dedicated Teams channel for sharing documentation.
  •  Identify Opportunities and Risks: Brainstorm a concise list of opportunities and potential threats or risks specific to your area. How can AI enhance our work, and what challenges might we face?
  • Think Creatively: Explore innovative uses of AI —how can AI revolutionize our teaching and learning efforts?

LinkedIn Learning

Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)

  • AI (Artificial Intelligence) in Teaching
    • The Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching has developed this resource to provide instructors with recommendations and best practices regarding Artificial Intelligence (AI) in teaching and learning. This resource will remain a work in progress and will be updated as use cases and engagement with AI technology evolve.

Master of Science in AI

Iowa State's AI program teaches you:

  • Design and analysis of algorithms
  • Principles of AI
  • Machine learning
  • Computer vision
  • Natural language processing

Minor in Applied Artificial Intelligence and Writing

The minor in applied AI is designed to give all undergraduate majors at Iowa State the opportunity to learn about how AI is applied in our world. Whether you’re studying agriculture or architecture, you’ll learn:

  • How to use low-code or no-code AI tools
  • How to use data with or from AI tools
  • Social, cultural, and global impacts of AI
  • Legal and regulatory frameworks
  • Ethical considerations of AI

Adobe Firefly — AI-Powered Generative Image Creation

Adobe Firefly enhances creativity by providing new ways to imagine, experiment, and bring ideas to life. Use simple text prompts in over 100 languages to make beautiful images, transform text, play with color, and so much more.

ISU students, faculty, and staff can access Adobe Firefly by visiting firefly.adobe.comEnsure you are logged into Adobe Creative Cloud with your ISU email once you visit the Adobe Firefly website. If you have any issues logging into Adobe Creative Cloud, or would like to request access, please contact the Solution Center. You can also use Adobe Firefly within various Adobe Creative Cloud apps.

Microsoft Copilot — AI-Powered Chat for Work with Data Protection

Use Copilot to get work done faster, be more creative, or support customers better. All of this can be done with the confidence that individual and business data is protected and will not leak outside the organization. Microsoft Copilot is available to the ISU community with your ISU email address. 

Copilot unlocks generative AI for capabilities around asking questions and generating responses from the web. Read more about Copilot in this Inside Iowa State article.

Copilot for Microsoft 365 — Your AI Assistant at Work

  • Combine powerful, large language models with your work content and context to take on any task.
  • Be more engaged in the meetings you attend and quickly catch up on the ones you miss.
  • Summarize long email threads and quickly draft suggested replies.
  • Learn more about Copilot for Microsoft 365.

You can fill out a form to request a license for Copilot for Microsoft 365. Work smarter, be more productive, boost creativity, and stay connected to the people and things in your life with Copilot—an AI companion that works everywhere you do and intelligently adapts to your needs.

Github Copilot — For Use in Visual Studio Code

You can fill out a form to request a license for GitHub Copilot for $19/month. This will enable you to utilize GitHub Copilot in Visual Studio Code on Mac, Windows, or Linux operating systems. The GitHub username you provide must be associated with your Iowa State Net-ID.

Submit a Request for AI Tools

Email to inquire about other AI tools that might be available for use at ISU. The committee is currently reviewing licensing options for additional products. We may not be able to implement requests due to security, privacy, or accessibility compliance, in line with ISU policies.