Skip to main content

Slalom and New Jersey Institute of Technology Launch “Sophie”–A Prototype Digital Student Concierge

NEWARK, NJ, May 22, 2024 – The EdgeCon conference series continues to solidify its place as a destination event for higher education decision makers, with EdgeCon Spring garnering the event’s highest-ever attendance rate and attendee satisfaction rate. Edge members and vendors are taking note, and choosing the event as a key venue for innovative announcements.  Slalom and longtime Edge member, New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), chose EdgeCon as their venue to officially debut a prototype AI Student Success Tool to attendees.

EdgeCon served as the ideal environment for the debut, given the prevalence of higher education membership in attendance, as well as the timely discussions of how AI is transforming higher education. Currently being referred to in development as Sophie, the AI tool is called the NJIT Digital Student Advisor, and is a prototype “digital student concierge”. Sophie was built using Soul Machines technology, with chat capabilities provided by GPT 3.5, and hosted in Microsoft Azure. The prototype was designed to work on any cloud platform with a native LLM integration (AWS, Google, etc.).

“Launching the prototype for our digital student advisor ‘Sophie’ in partnership with NJIT is just the beginning of a transformative journey for higher education in New Jersey. As we embark on a journey to humanize the future of AI, we’re not just shaping technology, we’re shaping the future of education itself, unlocking limitless possibilities for personalized learning and student success.” 

— Stephen Walsh
Senior Director – Public & Social Impact

In this prototype stage, Sophie was programmed to address a specific use case regarding a student interested in switching majors. The Q&A format shown in the demo was developed around typical questions a student may ask when switching majors or attending NJIT for the first time. Further development will focus on additional use cases to support students in their journey when accessing academic or social services at NJIT. The overall purpose is to create and improve upon a digital humanizing experience for students and faculty – one that is both informative and supportive.

Ed Wozencroft, Vice President for Digital Strategy and Chief Digital Officer, Vice President Digital Strategy CIO, NJIT, shared, “NJIT’s Artificial Intelligence Initiative seeks to embed AI in all facets of our university–from teaching and learning; to research and innovation; our operations and infrastructure – all while remaining human-centered. Undoubtedly AI is here to stay, and higher education must adapt to succeed. With great partners like Slalom, we can quickly develop and deploy great tools and services that change the nature of education and improve the value proposition of investing in a now highly personalized higher education.” 

While the prototype is in its early stages, NJIT is currently in development discussions with Slalom to determine the next phases and potential release dates. Stay tuned for launch dates and availability.

Slalom’s professional services are available for procurement by the higher education and public sector communities via Edge’s cooperative pricing system, EdgeMarket. To learn more about EdgeMarket, visit

About Edge

Edge serves as a member-owned, nonprofit provider of high performance optical fiber networking and internetworking, Internet2, and a vast array of best-in-class technology solutions for cybersecurity, educational technologies, cloud computing, and professional managed services. Edge provides these solutions to colleges and universities, K-12 school districts, government entities, hospital networks and nonprofit business entities as part of a membership-based consortium. Edge’s membership spans the northeast, along with a growing list of EdgeMarket participants nationwide. Edge’s common good mission ensures success by empowering members for digital transformation with affordable, reliable and thought-leading purpose-built, advanced connectivity, technologies and services.