April 19, 2024

Google Announces €25 Million AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe

Tech giant Google has unveiled plans to launch a support fund of 25 million euros ($26.9 million) for the AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe. The initiative is geared towards providing training in artificial intelligence (AI) skills to Europeans, as the continent positions itself to take the lead in leveraging AI for economic growth.

Google expressed its commitment to empower Europe’s workforce and ensure that everyone can benefit from the opportunities presented by AI. In collaboration with European Union governments, civil society, academics, and businesses, the initiative aims to deliver advanced AI training, with a specific focus on supporting local startups and vulnerable communities.

As part of the initiative, approximately 10 million euros will be allocated to equip workers with the necessary skills to avoid being left behind in the rapidly evolving technological landscape. This move follows a similar initiative launched by the Italian government in mid-2023, which focused on funding digital skills development for workers at risk of job displacement due to automation and AI.

Google highlighted the success of its previous initiative, “Grow with Google,” launched in 2015, which provided free training to address the digital skills gap in the EU, benefiting over 12 million individuals.

In a bid to reach a broader audience, Google has partnered with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI). The CPI will facilitate the application process for EU-based social enterprises and nonprofits interested in participating in the AI training program. Adrian Brown, the CPI’s executive director, emphasized the transformative potential of AI while acknowledging the risk of widening inequality gaps. He stated, “This new program will help people across Europe develop their knowledge, skills, and confidence around AI, ensuring that no one is left behind.”

As part of the comprehensive initiative, Google has expanded the languages available for its AI foundational course to 18. Additionally, the company is enhancing its Google Career Certificates program to offer professionals hands-on experience in applying AI to real-world scenarios.

This announcement coincides with ongoing efforts by local regulators to finalize the EU AI Act, which aims to govern the use and development of AI technologies within the European Union’s legal jurisdiction. Google’s initiative aligns with the broader objective of fostering responsible AI development and mitigating potential societal challenges arising from the widespread adoption of artificial intelligence.

Image from Wikimedia Commons

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