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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has outlined its commitment to providing two million people around the world with access to free artificial intelligence (AI) skills training by 2025, as part of its ongoing work to make it easier for businesses to access the tech expertise they need.
The public cloud giant’s AI Ready skills initiative will involve scaling up its existing free AI training programmes to ensure cost is no barrier to businesses seeking access to these “critical” skills.
“Artificial intelligence is the most transformative technology of our generation,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, vice-president of data and AI at AWS, in a blog post announcing the initiative.
“If we are going to unlock the full potential of AI to tackle the world’s most challenging problems, we need to make AI education accessible to anyone with a desire to learn.”
To this point, the AI Ready programme will offer participants access to three separate initiatives including eight free AI and generative AI courses, and will see 50,000 high school and university students worldwide offered access to the AWS Generative AI Scholarship. The company has also partnered with tech skills non-profit Code.Org to help bolster the AI skills of students.
According to AWS, the demand for “AI-savvy” workers has never been greater, based on the results of research carried out by the company in collaboration with research firm Access Partnership.
The poll featured responses from 3,297 employees and 1,340 organisations from across the US, with 92% of respondents stating that they expect their organisation to be using AI-powered offerings by 2028.
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The data further showed that hiring individuals with AI skills is a priority for 73% of employers, but three out of four of participants in the poll said they are struggling to recruit the talent they need.
Furthermore, the employers questioned in the poll said they expect workers who are trained in AI to earn up to 47% more than those who do not.
In line with this, the AI Ready scheme will also see employees offered access to eight free AI and generative AI courses that will be designed for use by business leaders and technologists alike.
AWS CEO Andy Jassy used the company’s most recent set of financial results to outline the firm’s growing commitment to investing in AI-related initiatives, including ensuring the technology is as accessible as possible to its customers, who are already using it in a wide array of use cases.
“We’re focused on doing what we’ve always done for customers, [by] taking technology that can be complex and expensive, and democratising it for customers of all sizes and technical abilities,” said Jassy, on a conference call transcribed by Seeking Alpha. “We’re innovating and delivering at a rapid rate and our approach is resonating with customers.”