Google has announced a significant investment of 25 million euros (roughly translates to $26.98 million) from Google.org. and the funding is designated to bolster artificial intelligence (AI) education and proficiency in Europe. Specifically, the initiative targets aiding vulnerable and marginalised communities in Europe, ensuring they have access to AI training and skills development opportunities.
Additionally, the initiative includes the launch of a fresh lineup of Google for Startups Growth Academies spanning Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
“For AI to benefit everyone, it must be built by — and accessible to — everyone. So today, we are launching the AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe, to help provide training and skills to support people and countries to be successful in seizing the opportunity of AI,” Matt Brittin, President, Google EMEA, wrote in a blog post.
“Europe can lead the way in harnessing AI to create a strong and equitable economy — with more productive industries, more meaningful work and many new kinds of jobs. We want to play our part in empowering Europe’s workforce, supporting people through change, so that everyone can benefit.”
As a component of its AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe, the tech giant revealed the funding allocation. Google’s initial focus involves dedicating 10 million euros towards empowering workers with essential skills to prevent them from being marginalised.
Our AI Opportunity Fund: Europe, in collaboration with the Centre for Public Impact, is seeking applications from social enterprises and nonprofits who can help us reach those people most likely to benefit from this training. Selected organisations will receive bespoke and facilitated training on foundational AI in local languages delivered directly to the workers in their communities — as well as cash grants for critical wraparound support, such as childcare or compensation for pay, to remove the barrier to learning.
“AI has enormous potential to transform the world for the better. Yet research shows that the benefits of AI could exacerbate existing inequalities — especially in terms of economic security and employment,” Adrian Brown, Executive Director, Centre for Public Impact, which is running the non-profit scheme alongside Google, said in a statement.
“This new programme will help people across Europe develop their knowledge, skills and confidence around AI, ensuring that no one is left behind.”