Teaching Development Grants
Completed TDG Projects

Academic Advisory System

The Creation of a Virtual Student Adviser: Merging Advising and Artificial Intelligence


The University-wide Academic Advising System was fully implemented across faculties in the 2012-13 academic year. Along with this, the University encourages web-based advising as an important tool in support of net-generation students who have lived their entire lives centered in digital technology. The Senate specifically recommended adopting technology for advising to complement traditional face-to-face advising. The objective of this project is the development of an interactive and multi-dimensional online academic advising tool in the form of a virtual student adviser. By using Artificial Intelligence (Natural Language Processing) software, the virtual student adviser enables students to seek academic information and begin to explore academic options through engaging digital and mobile platforms. The virtual student adviser, as known as Annie and available at annie.aao.hku.hk, offers around-the-clock dialogue for general academic issues and encourages students to consult advisers as necessary. This new automated advising system is linked through the AAO website and available as mobile applications.

Principal Investigator

Professor W.K. Chan, Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Science c/o Academic Advising OfficeContact

Project level

University-level project

Project Completion

February 2014


  • A comprehensive database of questions and responses. The software used to run the virtual student adviser currently has 68,000 stored data rules including preloaded software language and newly developed language specific to academic matters.
  • An interactive virtual student adviser, as known as Annie, accessible at http://annie.aao.hku.hk/
  • A mobile application of the virtual student adviser available for download in Apple and Android formats.
  • The capabilities to analyze enquiries collected and appropriately respond with targeted activities and specialized professional development for advisers and administrators.
  • Further promotion and awareness of the newly implemented academic advising system.