UNAB launches an innovative Virtual Biology Assistant with Artificial Intelligence to answer technical queries anytime
This tool, a part of a digital education strategy developed by Universidad Andrés Bello, is grounded in personalized learning, an educational approach tailored to the individual needs of each student. The Virtual Assistant is loaded with necessary bibliographic resources, ensuring its responses are specific and relevant to student inquiries.
The goal of the innovative Virtual Biology Assistant, developed by Universidad Andrés Bello (UNAB) with Generative Artificial Intelligence (GAI), is to provide 24/7 support for students’ questions about their course content, thereby enhancing the quality of the learning process.
The Virtual Assistant is programmed with comprehensive information that students are expected to master upon entering the university and the material covered in their current courses, including key texts essential for their training.
“Universidad Andrés Bello is committed to leveraging technology to personalize and fundamentally enhance education. This means assisting each student with their unique challenges, enabling better, more individualized learning,” states Claudia Bascur, General Director of Technology and Digital Education at UNAB.
Dr. Ariel Reyes, director of the Department of Biological Sciences at UNAB, notes, “The Virtual Assistant is equipped with the textbook we use as a course guide, so its responses are precise and tailored to the student’s needs. This contrasts to broader information sources like Google or ChatGPT, where answers are more general and finding the right information can be challenging.”
This tool is integral to the university’s Digital Education strategy, which incorporates advanced technologies to elevate student learning experiences, bridge knowledge gaps, cultivate future skills, and add professional value. This strategy includes both GAI and telehealth platforms, Metaverse adoption, augmented virtual reality, virtual laboratories, and more.
The Biology Virtual Assistant, rooted in personalized learning, helps bridge educational gaps students face in higher education. It enables continuous study and provides bibliographic sources for each response.
Integrated into Canvas, UNAB’s platform for Virtual Classrooms where students access course materials, the Assistant was developed collaboratively by the Digital Transformation Department, the Department of Biological Sciences, and BitLogic, a technology solutions provider.
“One of the key benefits of this assistant is to address the knowledge gaps of first-year students. It allows them to make inquiries anytime and receive quick responses when they can’t get immediate help for their questions,” explains Lilian Acuña, a professor of Cell Biology and Biochemistry at UNAB.
Nicolás Fernández, a Biotechnology Engineering student at UNAB, finds the Biology Virtual Assistant particularly helpful: “This tool has been very beneficial, especially since I study at night. It’s hard to get immediate responses from professors or classmates. The Assistant provides quick, specific answers, greatly aiding my nighttime study process.”