Amazon has announced a major initiative, ‘AI Ready’, aiming to offer free training in artificial intelligence (AI) to 2 million people by 2025. This move comes as companies increasingly seek AI talent, and those with AI skills are seen to potentially earn higher salaries.
The ‘AI Ready’ program is designed to make AI education accessible to a wide range of people, irrespective of their financial situation. Amazon plans to launch new training programs and courses that will be available for free. The initiative aims to support both working professionals and students in gaining AI knowledge.
AWS’s recent study underscores the urgency of this initiative, with 92% of the surveyed organizations planning to use AI-powered solutions by 2028. The study also revealed the following aspects:
- 73% of employers consider hiring talent with AI skills and experience a priority.
- However, 75% of them say that they can’t find the talent they need.
- Notably, employers are willing to pay an average of 47% more for IT workers with AI skills.
Therefore, Amazon is launching AI Ready to help those with a desire to learn about AI and benefit from the significant opportunities available.
Key aspects of the ‘AI Ready’ initiative include:
- Free AI and Generative AI Courses: Amazon will introduce eight new AI courses, open to anyone interested in learning. These courses are designed to cater to different skill levels and professional backgrounds.
- AWS Generative AI Scholarship: Over 50,000 scholarships will be provided to high school and university students globally, focusing on a new generative AI course offered through Udacity.
- Partnership with Code.org: This collaboration aims to help students learn about generative AI and foster an early interest in the field.
Amazon’s AI Ready project adds to AWS’s ongoing effort to offer free cloud computing training. They plan to train 29 million people by 2025 and have already taught over 21 million.
The courses on offer are the following:
Courses for Business and Non-Technical Audiences
- Introduction to Generative Artificial Intelligence: This course offers a basic understanding of generative AI, its uses, and essential concepts like foundation models. Available on AWS Educate.
- Generative AI Learning Plan for Decision Makers: A series of three courses that guide you on how to start a generative AI project and establish an AI-ready organization. Available on AWS Skill Builder.
- Introduction to Amazon CodeWhisperer: Learn to use Amazon’s AI code generator that creates complete lines of code. Available on AWS Educate.
Courses for Developers and Technical Professionals
- Foundations of Prompt Engineering: This course introduces prompt engineering — creating inputs for generative AI tools, from the basics to advanced techniques. Available on AWS Skill Builder.
- Low-Code Machine Learning on AWS: Learn how to prepare data, train machine learning models, and deploy them with minimal coding. No deep machine learning knowledge needed. Available on AWS Skill Builder.
- Building Language Models on AWS: Discover how to use Amazon SageMaker for building language models and refining open source and foundation models. Available on AWS Skill Builder.
- Amazon Transcribe—Getting Started: A guide on using Amazon Transcribe to convert speech to text with automatic speech recognition technology. Available on AWS Skill Builder.
- Building Generative AI Applications Using Amazon Bedrock: Learn how to create generative AI applications using Amazon Bedrock. Available on AWS Skill Builder.
Amazon’s Strategic Shift in AI: Catching Up and Investing Big
Generative AI, the latest tech craze, saw Amazon initially lagging behind competitors like Microsoft and Google, who heavily invested in this area and next-gen chatbots. Amazon’s focus was primarily on integrating AI into its cloud-computing arm, Amazon Web Services, which led to a delayed entry in the AI competition. However, Amazon executives maintain that they have been developing AI technology for years.
Andy Jassy, Amazon’s CEO, recently expressed confidence that generative AI could generate tens of billions of dollars for AWS in the coming years. He emphasized that AI is becoming integral to all areas of Amazon’s operations. In a significant move in September, Amazon announced plans to invest up to $4 billion in Anthropic. As part of this deal, Anthropic will use Amazon’s custom chips to develop and deploy its AI software.