Tech Giants Collaborate to Upskill Workforce for AI Impact

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Several major technology companies have joined forces to establish The AI-Enabled ICT Workforce Consortium, aimed at enhancing skills and knowledge among tech professionals facing potential disruption from artificial intelligence (AI). Notable participants include Cisco, Accenture, Eightfold, Google, IBM, Indeed, Intel, Microsoft, and SAP, supported by key industry and labor organizations.

The consortium’s primary objective is to assess how AI is reshaping job roles and the requisite skills for success. By pooling expertise and resources, the consortium seeks to generate insights, propose action plans, and implement findings across diverse sectors influenced by AI.

This initiative responds to the critical need for a proficient workforce equipped to navigate AI-powered environments. The initial phase will produce a comprehensive report with practical recommendations for business leaders and workers to prepare for AI-driven workplaces.

Francine Katsoudas, Executive Vice President and Chief People, Policy & Purpose Officer at Cisco, emphasized the significance of private sector involvement in preparing workers for the AI era. Katsoudas stated, “AI is accelerating the pace of change for the global workforce, presenting a powerful opportunity for the private sector to help upskill and reskill workers for the future.”

Lisa Gevelber, Founder of Grow with Google, highlighted the mission’s commitment to inclusivity and accessibility in AI skills training. Gevelber affirmed, “We’re committed to collaborating across sectors to ensure workers of all backgrounds can use AI effectively and develop the skills needed to prepare for future-focused jobs.”

The consortium will assess 56 ICT job roles to identify training needs and recommendations, focusing on positions that account for the majority of top job postings in the ICT sector across the United States and major European countries.

The initiative underscores the urgency of addressing the dual impact of AI—creating new job opportunities while potentially rendering existing roles obsolete. While the consortium’s initial focus is on ICT job roles, stakeholders are urged to consider broader implications and engage in strategic foresight amidst the rapidly evolving AI landscape.

As technology continues to advance, ensuring a workforce prepared for AI’s transformative effects remains a critical priority for industry leaders and policymakers alike. The consortium’s collaborative efforts signify a proactive step toward equipping professionals with the necessary skills to thrive in an AI-driven future.

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