While OpenAI often dominates the headlines, Amazon has been quietly advancing its AI efforts across various sectors, incorporating AI-powered robots in its warehouses. In a strategic move to broaden the AI talent pool, the company is unveiling a free initiative named “AI Ready,” with the ambitious goal of providing generative AI training to two million individuals worldwide by 2025.
Comprising eight complimentary courses, these classes will be accessible through Amazon’s learning platform and are open to both Amazon and non-Amazon employees. The curriculum aims to impart AI skills, including the generative AI technology behind models like ChatGPT, catering to individuals ranging from beginners to advanced users in both technical and tech-adjacent roles. Three courses are tailored for business and nontechnical users, while the remaining five are designed for developers and technical audiences.
In addition to the courses, Amazon is allocating Udacity scholarships exceeding $12 million to over 50,000 high school and university students from underrepresented communities globally. Swami Sivasubramanian, AWS VP of data and AI, emphasized the program’s objective to democratize AI education, making it accessible to anyone keen on learning, to level the playing field in AI education.
While AI technology has made significant strides in areas such as medical research and retail customer assistance, the surge in popularity, particularly with the launch of OpenAI’s ChatGPT virtual assistant, has highlighted a shortage of qualified professionals. Amazon recognizes the pressing need for AI-skilled talent, as 73 percent of employers prioritize hiring in this domain, yet three out of four struggle to find qualified candidates.
Amazon’s “AI Ready” program not only benefits its own workforce but also extends its advantages to enterprise customers seeking skilled workers in prompt engineering and related fields. Leveraging its own platforms, including Amazon Bedrock AI and Amazon CodeWhisperer, which automatically generates code, the program aims to “democratize” generative AI education and address the growing demand for proficient individuals in the evolving field of artificial intelligence.