Saturday, July 13

Amazon’s ‘AI Ready’ Initiative Aims to Train Millions in Revolutionary Skills

Amazon.com is stepping into the race for AI talent, launching a bold initiative named “AI Ready” to train millions of individuals in artificial intelligence skills. With an ambitious goal of educating at least two million people by 2025, the program aims to bridge the talent gap in AI expertise, an area where Amazon seeks to catch up with competitors like Microsoft and Google.

The initiative, offering free online courses, focuses on a range of basic to advanced AI skills, notably generative AI, the technology powering language-based models such as ChatGPT. Amazon’s aim is to prepare individuals for both technical and tech-adjacent roles, catering to beginners and experienced professionals alike. These courses are designed to equip workers with the essential skills demanded by the evolving industry landscape.

Swami Sivasubramanian, Amazon’s VP of database, analytics, and machine learning, emphasises the transformative potential of AI, stressing the need for a workforce adept at leveraging it effectively.

This move aligns with a larger trend in the corporate world, where companies across various sectors are exploring generative AI’s potential applications, from crafting marketing content to addressing HR queries.

As AI reshapes job roles, corporate retraining initiatives are gaining traction. However, the evolving nature of AI raises questions about the relevance and timing of such training. According to industry experts, the challenge lies not only in enabling workers to adapt but also in determining what and when they should learn, given the rapid advancements in generative AI.

Companies, from real estate to technology giants like Salesforce, are rolling out AI training programs to equip employees for this technological shift. The focus extends beyond technical skills, emphasizing the need to enable employees to effectively collaborate with AI.

Acknowledging a shortage of AI specialists, Amazon’s survey in partnership with Access Partnership revealed that most employers face difficulty sourcing AI talent, despite planning AI deployment in the near future.

Amazon’s “AI Ready” program aims to democratize generative AI education, benefiting not just Amazon but also its enterprise clients seeking AI-literate talent. The company intends to gather feedback for further improvements, considering this initiative a stepping stone in AI reskilling.

Through this program, Amazon not only educates participants on AI fundamentals but also familiarizes participants with its own platforms, like Bedrock AI and CodeWhisperer. The company is also funding scholarships and collaborating with educational nonprofits to introduce AI learning opportunities for students.

While Amazon has been perceived as lagging behind in generative AI compared to rivals like Microsoft and Google, its recent investments and strategic partnerships highlight its commitment to this transformative technology. CEO Andy Jassy expects substantial revenue from AI for Amazon Web Services, emphasizing AI’s integration into various facets of Amazon’s operations.

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