Google Wants to AI Train Your Workforce

A new AI skills initiative pairs Google trainers with “worker” students.

Global companies want AI training for their employees and Google believes it’s just the company to provide it.

The issue is AI workplace skills, which, according to senior executives, most companies lack right now.

A recent Adecco study shows only 43% of executives say their company has “sufficient” AI skills and knowledge “to understand the risk and opportunities” offered by the technology.

Google is responding to that challenge with a new and expansive AI training program designed to upskill workers.

Here’s the “nuts and bolts” of the new training initiative.

An “Essentials” Course. The program is called “Google AI Essentials, which the tech giant describes as a “self-paced course designed to help people across roles and industries learn AI skills to boost their productivity. No programming skills or other experience required.”

Google promises students that in under 10 hours of self-paced study, they’ll “learn how to use generative AI tools to help boost productivity and enhance your work. Program trainees will also learn “how to write effective prompts and use AI responsibly by identifying AI’s potential biases and avoiding harm.”

A cash infusion. Google says it will invest $75 million into its “AI Opportunity Fund” to train one million or more Americans on “critical AI skills.” The company points to two early non-profit program beneficiaries who will receive program funds – the Institute for Veterans and Military Families (IVMF) and Goodwill Industries International.

Training program structure. Google is using its own AI training instructors to handle the classwork load.

In those classes, instructors will focus on three key AI learning areas.

• Using AI to “click” on new ideas. For workers “stuck at the beginning of a project,” program instructors will teach them how to use AI tools to help brainstorm new ideas. “In the course, you’ll use a conversational AI tool to generate concepts for a product and develop a presentation to pitch the product,” Google noted.

• Making better decisions. AI Essentials will also emphasize real-world AI uses. “Let’s say you’re planning an event,” the Google announcement noted. “AI tools can help you research the best location to host it based on your criteria. You can also use AI to help you develop a tagline or slogan.”

• Complete tasks more quickly. Instructors will train students on how to “clear out inboxes faster using AI to help you summarize emails and draft responses.” Program teachers will also train students to use AI more responsibly by identifying AI’s potential biases and avoiding harm, Google reported.

Teaming up with an experienced training partner. AI Essentials will be run through the online education platform Coursera, which will manage the program. Enrollment will commence on April 27, and financial aid will be available. (Find Coursera and more information on the program here.)

Colleges getting into the act. Google/Coursera will also offer a collegiate program pipeline for students. For instance, Miami Dade College will provide the course for all students enrolled in its AI college degree program, and the University of Virginia’s Darden Executive Education and Lifelong Learning Program will offer Google AI training classes.

Educating the Masses on AI

Google believes it has a social responsibility role in training workers on how to use AI productively and responsibly, and that’s basically what AI Essentials is all about.

“’s new AI Opportunity Fund and Google’s AI Essentials Course are important next steps in our commitment to ensure everyone, everywhere, can access AI training,” says James Manyika, senior vice president for research, technology & society at Google. “No single employer or policymaker will be able to modernize workforce programs on their own – we are committed to collaborating across industry, civil society, and government to ensure the opportunities created by new technologies are available to everyone.”

With AI Essentials, Google is getting a good head start on AI training. Expect more leading AI development companies to follow suit.

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