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Google Launches £21.4 Million AI Training Fund to Empower European Workforce

Google has unveiled plans to initiate a support fund worth 25 million euros (£21.4 million) to aid in skill training for Europeans in the realm of artificial intelligence (AI).

The AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe intends to facilitate training so individuals can “seize the opportunity of AI” at a time when the continent is positioned to “lead the way” in utilising AI for economic purposes.

“We want to play our part in empowering Europe’s workforce, supporting people through change so that everyone can benefit.”

The tech giant stated that this initiative is collaborating with European Union governments, civil society, academics, and businesses to offer advanced AI training to local startups, with a specific emphasis on vulnerable communities.

Approximately 10 million euros will be allocated to equip workers with the necessary skills to avoid “being left behind.”

A similar initiative was initiated by the Italian government in mid-2023, allocating millions of euros towards developing digital skills for workers at risk of displacement due to automation and AI.

Google mentioned that the AI programme follows a successful initiative launched in 2015 called “Grow with Google,” which provided free training to tackle the digital skills gap in the EU.

It claimed that the programme trained more than 12 million people.

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This recent initiative also entails a collaboration with the Centre for Public Impact (CPI), inviting applications from EU-based social enterprises and nonprofits to extend AI training to the widest audience.

Adrian Brown, the CPI’s executive director, stated that AI has the potential to “transform the world” but could also exacerbate inequality gaps.

“This new programme will help people across Europe develop their knowledge, skills, and confidence around AI, ensuring that no one is left behind.”

Google has also broadened the languages available for its AI foundational course to 18 and stated it is incorporating additional resources into its Google Career Certificates programme to enable professionals to gain practical experience applying AI in workplace scenarios.

This announcement coincides with local regulators preparing to finalise the EU AI Act, which oversees the utilisation and advancement of AI technologies within EU legal jurisdictions.

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