Google has announced a significant investment of 25 million euros (approximately $26.98 million) aimed at bolstering artificial intelligence (AI) skills in Europe. The tech giant’s initiative, known as the AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe, aims to provide training and support to individuals and communities across the continent.
Matt Brittin, the President of Google for Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA), emphasized the importance of empowering people and countries to seize the opportunities presented by AI. He highlighted Google’s commitment to supporting vulnerable and underserved communities, stating, “Europe can lead the way in harnessing AI to create a strong and equitable economy.”
This initiative builds upon Google’s previous efforts in Europe to digitally upskill individuals. Through partnerships with governments, small business associations, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs), Google has already trained over 12 million people in the continent, helping them find new careers and start businesses.
The funding for this initiative is provided by Google.org, the charitable arm of Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company. A portion of the funds, €10 million, will be dedicated to equipping workers with the necessary skills to adapt to the changing technological landscape and avoid being left behind.
Adrian Brown, Executive Director of the Centre for Public Impact, emphasized the importance of addressing existing inequalities that could be exacerbated by the benefits of AI. He stated, “This new program will help people across Europe develop their knowledge, skills, and confidence around AI, ensuring that no one is left behind.”
In addition to financial support, Google will launch a series of Startup Growth Academies across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. These academies will provide startups with support and resources to scale their businesses, particularly in sectors such as health, education, and cybersecurity.
Furthermore, Google will expand its free online AI training courses to be available in 18 languages, making them accessible to individuals and businesses across the linguistic diversity of the European Union (EU). These courses aim to provide foundational and advanced AI skills to help people and businesses thrive in an increasingly digital world.
Google’s investment in AI education comes at a time when the European AI landscape is evolving, with increasing regulatory scrutiny and technological advancements. By empowering individuals and communities with AI skills, Google seeks to foster innovation, inclusivity, and economic growth across Europe.