Google announced plans to launch a support fund of 25 million euros ($26.9 million) to help support skill training for Europeans in the field of artificial intelligence (AI).
The AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe aims to help provide such training, so people can “seize the opportunity of AI” in a moment where the continent is poised to “lead the way” in harnessing AI for economic reasons.
“We want to play our part in empowering Europe’s workforce, supporting people through change so that everyone can benefit.”
The tech developer said as a part of this initiative it is working alongside EU governments, civil society, academics and businesses to provide “advanced” AI training to local startups, with a particular focus on vulnerable communities.
About 10 million euros will target equipping workers with the skills they need to avoid “being left behind.” A similar initiative was started by the Italian government in mid-2023, through which it allocated millions of euros in funding toward the development of digital skills for workers at risk of termination due to automation and AI.
Google said the AI program follows a successful initiative launched in 2015 called “Grow with Google” that offered free training to help address the digital skills gap in the EU. It said that the program trained more than 12 million people.
This latest initiative also includes a partnership with the Centre for Public Impact, through which it is seeking applications from EU-based social enterprises and nonprofits to reach the most people for AI training.
Adrian Brown, the Centre for Public Impact’s executive director, said that AI has the great potential to “transform the world” but could also widen inequality gaps.
“This new program will help people across Europe develop their knowledge, skills and confidence around AI, ensuring that no one is left behind.”
Google has also expanded the languages available for its AI foundational course to 18 and said it is adding additional resources to its Google Career Certificates program to allow professionals to get hands-on experience applying AI to scenarios in the workplace.
This comes as local regulators are preparing to finalize the EU AI Act, which is aimed at governing the use and development of AI technologies within the regions of EU legal jurisdiction.