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The Wall Street Journal reports that Amazon "is launching a program to train millions of workers in artificial-intelligence skills as the tech giant seeks to gain an edge in a pitched battle for talent with Microsoft, Google and other companies."

The free training program, “AI Ready,” focuses on generative AI,  is online, caters to both beginners and those with advanced skills, and is available to both Amazon employees and non-employees.

The Journal writes that "Amazon aims to fill a gap in AI talent as it has sought to generate interest in its generative AI efforts after falling behind rivals. In launching its program, Amazon is adding to a broader effort by the corporate world to get workers in various fields trained in AI."

Some context from the Journal piece:

"Amazon’s effort reflects a growing awareness across the corporate sphere that AI could change how millions of people do their jobs. Companies in industries ranging from real estate to retail are now experimenting in using generative AI to help in everything from crafting marketing materials to writing software code and answering human-resources questions.

"Corporate retraining initiatives still generally remain in the early stages, as executives try to make sense of which roles AI will eliminate and which ones will be augmented by the technology. The changes brought by AI are expected to require workers to learn new skills or undergo additional training."

AI “is going to be the most transformative technology we encounter in our generation, but it won’t reach its full potential unless we really have the workforce ready to embrace it and turbocharge it in a big way,” Swami Sivasubramanian, Amazon’s vice president of data and AI, tells the Journal.

KC's View:

There clearly is going to be a lot of maneuvering for qualified AI personnel in the short term;  the mishegoss surrounding Open AI and Microsoft since late last week certainly illustrates that.

I think it going to be fascinating to see how retailers of different persuasions and sizes step up to figure out how to fill the gaps in their corporate educations.  This, at least on the face of it, a smart move by Amazon - it potentially gives the company first shot and the best and the brightest in this segment of the business.