Amazon just rolled out more free AI training and generative AI scholarships

With its new 'AI Ready' program, Amazon aims to provide free AI skills training to 2 million people by 2025.
Written by Lance Whitney, Contributor
Brain made of cubes
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Amazon is offering free training and scholarships for people hoping to fashion a career out of generative AI. On Monday, the company announced three initiatives designed to help workers and students alike learn the new technologies and business models of AI.

Also: Generative AI advancements will force companies to think big and move fast

As part of a program dubbed "AI Ready," Amazon will provide the following benefits:

  • Eight new and free courses on AI and generative AI.
  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) Generative AI scholarships to more than 50,000 high school and university students around the world with access to a new generative AI course on Udacity.
  • A collaboration with Code.org to train students on generative AI.

Free courses

First up, the eight new, free courses cover in-demand jobs for developers and technical workers as well as those for business leaders and non-technical professionals. 

Also: I spent a weekend with Amazon's free AI courses, and highly recommend you do too

The new courses are in addition to the 80 free and low-cost generative AI classes already offered through AWS.

Developers and the technical crowd can take advantage of the following free courses:

Non-technical professionals can try the following courses:

Generative AI scholarships

Available through the AWS Generative AI Scholarship program, AWS will offer $12 million worth of Udacity scholarships to more than 50,000 high school and university students from underserved and underrepresented communities around the world.

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Free to eligible students, the new Udacity course "Introducing Generative AI with AWS" explains generative AI concepts and includes a hands-on project. After successfully passing the course, students get a certificate from Udacity.

Collaboration with Code.org

Finally, a new collaboration between Amazon Future Engineer and Code.org will challenge students to create their own virtual music video set using songs from artists such as Miley Cyrus and Harry Styles. For the Hour of Code Dance Party: AI Edition, participants will code the virtual dancer's choreography and set up emojis as AI prompts to design animated backgrounds.

The goal is to teach the students about large language models and explain how they're used in the predictive analytics that generate images and text.

Also: CIOs assess generative AI's risk and reward for software engineers

Hour of Code will debut during Computer Science Education Week, Dec. 4–10, for students and teachers in kindergarten through 12th grade. To support Hour of Code, AWS will also offer $8 million in AWS Cloud computing credits to Code.org.

With generative AI causing waves across the business world, learning the necessary AI skills is increasingly seen as a new and in-demand career path. A study by AWS and research firm Access Partnership found that AI will become more critical among businesses, with 93% of them anticipating the use of AI-based technologies over the next five years.

To meet those needs, 73% of businesses said hiring workers with AI skills is currently a priority, though most say they're unable to find the right people. For professionals who do learn the necessary skills, employers expect that they'll earn up to 47% higher salaries.

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