Researchers at Cal State Fullerton and the University of Southern California are studying if and how artificial intelligence can help guide and mentor more college students from underrepresented communities. The project, “CareerFair.ai: Increasing Connections to Fast-Growing STEM Careers,” aims to increase interest and engagement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. CareerFair.ai centers on an online platform that can answer students’ academic and career questions using Albased virtual agents.
Virtual agents use prerecorded videos from graduate students and professionals who are real-life mentors in STEM and STEM-adjacent fields. These mentors also belong to such underrepresented groups as first-generation college students, women and historically marginalized racial and ethnic groups. “Our Al-based technology helps simulate a real-life conversation as if students are talking to these professionals in real time,” said Cal State Fullerton assistant professor of psychology Yuko Okado, one of the project’s principal investigators.