(From Inside Higher Ed) In an effort to improve the delivery of school services, more and more colleges are turning to virtual assistants or chatbots to communicate with students on all aspects of college life. While chatbot technology has been deployed since the 1960s, current versions of this technology offer a much broader capability that touches on all stages of the students' experience from the first expression of interest in an institution to enrollment, financial aid and even alumni relations. At Standford University, for example, researchers are developing a tool that will guide students into the right degree programs and courses for their desired career.However, experts suggest the technology could create a sense of distance between the institution and the student. "Chatbots are like connective tissue between services,” said Mark McNasby, CEO and co-founder of the chatbot company Ivy.ai. “They are not a solution to all problems."
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