Big Tech is still figuring out the ethics and implications of generative AI, but the technology is already integrating into the workforce. In light of this, Microsoft has announced a new program to train workers on AI. The initiative, called Microsoft’s AI Skills Initiative, is part of the company’s Skills for Jobs program and will offer free coursework through LinkedIn, including certification.
Free Courses and Certification
The courses, created by LinkedIn (a Microsoft subsidiary), will offer learners “the first Professional Certificate on Generative AI in the online learning market.” Microsoft says the courses will cover introductory AI concepts and “responsible AI frameworks,” culminating in certification. The courses are launching in English only, but the company says it will add Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Simplified Chinese and Japanese “over the coming months.”
Trainer Toolkit for Educators
In addition to the free courses, Microsoft is also launching a trainer toolkit for educators with “downloadable, bite-sized content for trainers” and a separate AI course for teachers and other trainers.
Generative AI Skills Grant Challenge
Microsoft also announced an open grant program for AI with an eye on boosting historically marginalized populations. The Generative AI Skills Grant Challenge is a collaboration between data.org, Microsoft’s AI for Good Lab and GitHub. It aims to “explore, develop, and implement how nonprofit, social enterprise and research or academic institutions can train and empower the workforce to use generative AI.” Grant recipients will receive financial support, group learning opportunities, data training/guidance and access to Microsoft events and cloud-computing resources. The grant program is accepting applications now with an August 15th deadline.
You can learn more about the grant program and apply here.