- Amazon launched an artificial intelligence education program designed to help workers develop key skills as companies grapple with an AI talent shortage.
- Nearly three-quarters of employers said hiring AI-skilled talent is a priority, according to a study by Amazon Web Services and research firm Access Partnership.
- However, three-quarters of companies that are prioritizing hiring of AI-skilled employees reported having trouble meeting their AI talent needs.
The online commerce giant said it's committed to providing free AI skills training to 2 million people globally by 2025 through its "AI Ready" program.
Seventy-three percent of employers reported that hiring AI-skilled talent is a priority, though three-quarters of those employers say they cannot meet their AI-related talent needs, a study by Amazon Web Services and research firm Access Partnership found. Employers also indicated that they expect workers to earn up to 47% more if they upskill in AI.
Challenges in staffing AI talent extend beyond Amazon, with McKinsey reporting that "the shortage of qualified talent has been a persistent limiting factor in the growth of many high-tech fields, including AI."
"If we are going to unlock the full potential of AI to tackle the world’s most challenging problems, we need to make AI education accessible to anyone with a desire to learn," AWS's Vice President of Data and AI, Swami Sivasubramanian, said in the announcement.
Amazon is offering eight free AI and generative AI (GenAI) courses and scholarships for more than 50,000 high school and university students. The company is collaborating with Code.org, a computer science education nonprofit.
As tech giants, including Google parent Alphabet (GOOGL), Microsoft (MSFT), and Meta (META), work to bolster their standing in the AI space, Amazon backed Anthropic with a multibillion-dollar investment.
Shares of Amazon gained 0.7% on Monday and have risen 70% year-to-date.