AI Consulting

AI is changing many facets of research, instruction and administration. Here we attempt to collect relevant information for use in the Grainger College of Engineering on our campus at any given moment in time. This technology is seeing such rapid growth and development that we caution you that any posted information about AI technologies may quickly become outdated. We encourage you to reach out for up-to-the moment consulting with our experts.

Contact Us About AI Consulting

AI Suggestions and Considerations

Suggestions for AI Use 

As of April 2024, if you want to use a GPT-4 based chat bot, we strongly suggest you use the Microsoft Copilot that is licensed for University of Illinois faculty and staff use.

If you want to be able to “Chat with documents”, or use other more advanced features, ChatGPT Team is probably the best option available currently. Given how rapidly AI and AI services are evolving, this will not always be the case.

Click here to see the full-sized AI Services Comparison Matrix

AI Considerations

Please explore the topics below as they relate to AI product selection and use.

Always exercise caution when handling University data. 

The only AI service that has been approved and licensed for University work is Microsoft Copilot. The campus-wide AI Solutions Hub has also provided more information about using Microsoft Copilot with Data Protection.

We encourage you to read all privacy statements of any product you intend to use to understand how that company uses their users' data. Those policies can be, and often are, changed without notice.

Please also refer to Tech Services Privacy & Cybersecurity's Data Classification documentation for campus.

Purchasing AI products through University purchase procedures is notably difficult, and for some products it is impossible based upon purchasing restrictions and vendor charge models. Microsoft Copilot is already purchased and licensed for campus faculty and staff use.

Purchasing Process

To purchase a license or subscription for generative AI, you must first fill out the following two forms and obtain approvals on both before using a university P-Card for purchase:

  • Electronic Services Purchased by P-Card
    Once this is signed, after purchase, upload along with the receipt into Chrome River.

  • P-Card Exception Request
    This form, once signed, authorizes you to enter a P-Card to pay the monthly subscription fee. Do not purchase until this is in place/approved. Approval will take up to 10 business days.

  • Generative AI Risk Awareness and Acknowledgment Form
    The form is to ensure that users understand and acknowledge potential risks associated with AI technology along with appropriate use and compliance with applicable university policies and regulations.  

The University System offices are currently finalizing guidance on the use of generative AI tools. Once this guidance is available, an extra educational and consent step will be added to this process.


Engineering IT's evaluation of AI products has, thus far, been limited to AI chat bots and API integration.

AI Research

If you are seeking access to GPU resources to train or develop large language models for your research, please reach out to Ethan Conner, our Research Technology Facilitator, and check out the relevant links to potentially relevant services listed below.

File and Data Storage

High Performance Computing (HPC)

Large Language Models

If you need API access to large language models or other AI resources, we can help you get access to a wide variety through the various cloud service providers (Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform). Contact us for more information