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Amazon Announces ‘AI Ready,’ a New Initiative Designed to Provide Free AI Skills Training to 2 Million People by 2025

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“Artificial intelligence is the most transformative technology of our generation. 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,” said Swami Sivasubramanian, vice president of Data and AI at AWS. “The goal of AI Ready is to help level the playing field of AI education, supported by the new initiatives we are launching today. We will also scale our existing free AI training programs and courses as we continue to remove cost as a barrier to accessing these critical skills.”

New study finds AI-skilled talent can earn up to 47% more

The need for an AI-savvy workforce has never been greater. In fact, 73% of employers say hiring AI-skilled talent is a priority—but among these, three out of four say they are unable to meet their AI talent needs. This is according to a new study by AWS and research firm Access Partnership. The study also found that employers expect their workers to earn up to 47% more in salaries if they upskill in AI. Looking ahead, AI will only become more integral to the way business is done, with 93% of businesses expecting they will be using AI solutions across their organisation in the next five years.

Amazon is launching AI Ready to help anyone with a desire to learn about AI and benefit from the tremendous opportunity ahead. The following initiatives are designed to open opportunities to those in the workforce today as well as the future generation.

Free generative AI training for in-demand jobs

To support professionals in the workplace today, AWS is announcing eight new, free AI and generative AI courses open to anyone and aligned to in-demand jobs. There is something for everyone with courses ranging from foundational to advanced and for business leaders as well as technologists. These courses augment the 80+ free and low-cost AI and generative AI courses and resources provided through AWS.

Courses for business and nontechnical audiences:

⦁ Introduction to Generative Artificial Intelligence provides an introduction to generative AI, its applications, and need-to-know concepts, like foundation models. Find it on AWS Educate.
⦁ Generative AI Learning Plan for Decision Makers is a three-course series covering how to plan a generative AI project and build a generative AI–ready organisation. Find it on AWS Skill Builder.
⦁ Introduction to Amazon CodeWhisperer teaches participants how to use Amazon’s AI code generator, which produces whole lines of code. Find it on AWS Educate.

Courses for developer and technical audiences:

⦁ Foundations of Prompt Engineering introduces the basics of prompt engineering, the practice of designing inputs for generative AI tools, all the way through to advanced prompt techniques.
⦁ Low-Code Machine Learning on AWS explores how to prepare data, train machine learning models, and deploy machine learning models, with minimal coding and without deep knowledge of machine learning.
⦁ Building Language Models on AWS covers how to use Amazon SageMaker distributed training libraries to build language models and how to fine-tune open source and foundation models.
⦁ Amazon Transcribe—Getting Started explores how to use Amazon Transcribe, a fully managed AI service that converts speech to text using automatic speech recognition technology.
⦁ Building Generative AI Applications Using Amazon Bedrock teaches how to use Amazon Bedrock to build generative AI applications.

$12 million in generative AI scholarships:

⦁ Through the AWS Generative AI Scholarship, AWS will provide Udacity scholarships, valued at more than $12 million, to more than 50,000 high school and university students from underserved and underrepresented communities globally.
⦁ Eligible students can take Introducing Generative AI with AWS, a new course on Udacity, for free. The course, which was designed by AI experts at AWS, introduces students to foundational generative AI concepts and guides them through a hands-on project. Upon successful course completion, students earn a certificate from Udacity to showcase their knowledge to future employers.

Accessible and fun introduction to generative AI with new Hour of Code Dance Party: AI Edition

Amazon is kicking off a new collaboration between Amazon Future Engineer and Code.org to launch Hour of Code Dance Party: AI Edition. During this hour-long introduction to coding and AI, students will create their own virtual music video set to hit songs from artists including Miley Cyrus, Harry Styles, and more.

Students will code their virtual dancer’s choreography and use emojis as AI prompts to generate animated backgrounds. The activity will give participants an introduction to generative AI, including learning about large language models and how they are used to power the predictive analytics responsible for creating new images, text, and more.

Hour of Code will take place globally during Computer Science Education Week, December 4–10, engaging students, and teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade. Additionally, AWS is providing up to $8 million in AWS Cloud computing credits to Code.org, which runs on AWS, to further support Hour of Code.

Cloud skills training investment

Amazon’s new AI Ready commitment is in addition to AWS’s commitment to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to provide free cloud computing skills training to 29 million people by 2025, which has already trained more than 21 million people.

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