Google to Spend $26.9 Million on AI Training in Europe

Google has pledged 25 million euros, or approximately $26.9 million, toward furthering AI education and training in Europe, the tech giant said Monday.

“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,” said the firm’s President of Google Europe, Middle East and Africa Matt Brittin in the announcement.

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

The $26.9 million in educational funding comes from Google’s nonprofit arm and is intended to support AI training and skill development for those in Europe deemed “vulnerable and underserved,” according to the announcement.

About $10.8 million of this funding will go toward giving Europe-based workers AI know-how so they won’t be “left behind.”

The funds will also go toward adding more language options for Google’s free AI courses. Google’s also promised to expand its Google Career Certificates to add more AI-related content as a part of its latest Europe effort.

Google aims to support workers “most impacted by workforce transitions brought on by AI” with the new fund. It’ll do this by funding various nonprofits, which will then assist in educating workers, according to the fund’s website.

The new pledge was made with support from the nonprofit Centre for Public Impact, whose website states that its mission is to reshape governments based on values like “humility,” “trust,” and “diversity.”

Only nonprofits, professional associations, trade unions, or other organizations registered in EU-27 member countries will be able to apply for the Google funding, however, meaning UK orgs will be exempt from the fund. Applications are expected to open later this year.

“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,” said Centre for Public Impact Executive Director Adrian Brown in the announcement.

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Google has not specified which European industries and workers it believes will be most impacted by AI, however.

Ironically, Google may be replacing some of its own employees with AI, according to a December report.

In the past, Google has provided “digital skills” training to over 12 million people living in Europe through its free “Grow with Google” offering, according to the company.

While it’s unclear whether AI education could actually prevent job losses, International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva wrote last month that AI could affect 40% of all jobs globally, and argued that in “most” scenarios, AI will likely worsen current economic inequality.

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