Google has unveiled its ambitious "AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe," earmarking a substantial fund of 25 million euros ($26.9 million) to bolster skill training for Europeans in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI).
Empowering Europe's Workforce
With the continent poised to take the lead in leveraging AI for economic growth, Google's initiative seeks to empower individuals to seize the opportunities presented by AI. By collaborating with EU governments, civil society, academia, and businesses, Google aims to deliver advanced AI training to local startups, with a special emphasis on supporting vulnerable communities.
Addressing the Digital Skills Gap
A significant portion of the initiative, approximately 10 million euros, will be dedicated to equipping workers with the necessary skills to navigate the evolving landscape of AI. This echoes similar efforts by the Italian government in mid-2023, which allocated substantial funding to enhance digital skills for workers susceptible to displacement due to automation and AI.
Building on Past Success
Google's latest endeavor builds upon the success of its "Grow with Google" initiative launched in 2015, which provided free training to address the digital skills gap in the EU, benefiting over 12 million individuals. Now, the focus extends to fostering AI proficiency among diverse segments of the population.
Promoting Inclusivity and Equality
Partnering with the Centre for Public Impact, Google aims to amplify the impact of its AI training efforts by collaborating with EU-based social enterprises and nonprofits. Adrian Brown, Executive Director of the Centre for Public Impact, emphasizes the importance of ensuring that AI advancements do not exacerbate existing inequality gaps but rather empower individuals across Europe.
Preparing for the Future
As regulatory frameworks evolve, Google's initiative aligns with ongoing efforts to finalize the EU AI Act, which will govern the use and development of AI technologies within the EU's legal jurisdiction. Additionally, Google is expanding language support for its AI foundational course and enhancing resources in its Google Career Certificates program to provide professionals with practical experience applying AI in real-world scenarios.