AWS is helping Asia-Pacific get 'AI-ready'

December 01, 2023 | 17:59
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We hear from Andrew Sklar, director of Training and Certification at Amazon Web Services for Asia Pacific and Japan, about the tech giant's new training initiatives that are helping businesses and individuals in the region prepare for the next big evolutionary step in technology.

The Asia-Pacific region is a hub for global innovation. From Japan to Indonesia, and further south to New Zealand, organisations and individuals from diverse communities are actively embracing and integrating the latest and most advanced technologies such as AI to improve lives.

AWS is helping Asia-Pacific get 'AI-ready'

At AWS, we hear from our customers directly about the need to bridge the digital skills gap to accelerate innovation. It inspires us to keep innovating in new ways to reach people at scale with training in cloud skills, which are crucial to the growth and prosperity of the region's digital economies.

We celebrated an incredible milestone in November, as AWS has now trained more than seven million people with cloud skills across Asia-Pacific since 2017, with 3.5 million of those learners trained just in the past year, and we’re just getting started.

This figure is testament to the work we do every day alongside governments, educators, and industries to help individuals build in-demand digital skills and nurture a digital-ready workforce.

Generative AI is the next major technology revolution knocking at the door. This new and evolving technology will empower machines to process information and actually create new content and solutions autonomously.

Not since the early days of cloud have we seen such a heightened level of interest from customers as we have with generative AI. In fact, 70 per cent of organisations in Asia-Pacific have already explored or committed to investing in generative AI technologies, according to a recent International Data Corporation report.

Its ability to generate realistic and contextually relevant outputs across diverse domains, from text to images, opens up new opportunities for automation, creativity, and problem-solving across a wide range of industries, including consumer, finance, healthcare, entertainment, and media.

In July, we announced seven free and low-cost digital courses to help organisations and individuals understand, implement, and begin using generative AI. It is imperative that businesses start upskilling their tech and non-tech employees now so they can harness the opportunity to build on this technology.

Our AWS Training and Certification team is here to help you get started. We’re already witnessed incredible enthusiasm and progress from our partners and customers across the region.

Through its 'AWS Skills Guild', Wipro–one of India’s top Big Tech companies–recently held an AWS Jam event for its developers to learn how to solve real-world problems using 'Amazon CodeWhisperer', our machine learning-powered code generator that provides code recommendations in real time.

The current shortage of cloud developers worldwide continues to impact those in the profession who are tasked with solving more business problems in less time. Aside from writing code, they are also trying to keep up with the ever-changing landscape of programming languages, tools, frameworks, SDKs, APIs, and more.

The 'AWS Jam' session challenged Wipro’s developers to build foundational skills through practical gamified learning. From the outset, Wipro has understood the importance of upskilling their entire team’s generative AI capabilities, and their developers have fully embraced it.

To help prepare students for the jobs of the future, RevoU–Indonesia’s largest live online learning community–collaborated with AWS to conduct generative AI training sessions for its staff. RevoU believes generative AI skills are essential for Indonesia’s future workforce.

During each session, students gained new skills such as natural language processing, image generation, and data syntheses, which are vital for understanding and applying generative AI in real-world applications.

RevoU highlighted the practicality of the training content, effectiveness of the instructors, and overall enhancement of the students’ knowledge of generative AI. RevoU’s CEO, Matteo Sutto, said, "The students came away feeling more adept and confident in this rapidly evolving domain."

Getting 'AI ready': The NEW free AI skills initiatives from AWS

The need for an AI-savvy workforce to address the world’s most challenge problems has never been greater. That’s why we’ve decided to make AI education accessible to anyone with a desire to learn.

AWS launched new AI skills initiatives for adults and students in November, and expanded our existing free AI training programmes so that people can get equipped with these critical skills without cost being a barrier.

The three initiatives are:

Eight free AI and generative AI courses open to anyone and aligned to in-demand jobs, with courses ranging from foundational to advanced, for business leaders as well as technologists.

$12 million for 'AWS Generative AI Scholarships', providing more than 50,000 high school and university students from underserved and underrepresented communities around the world with access to a new foundational generative AI course on Udacity.

A new collaboration with designed to help young students learn about generative AI via the 'Hour of Code Dance Party: AI Edition' – an hour-long introduction to coding and AI where students create their own music video set to hit songs from artists including Harry Styles.

Our new AI Ready training initiatives will help support some of the most talented and untapped future tech professionals across Asia-Pacific.

We’re already seeing that through our local and custom programmes like 'AWS Laptop for Builders' in Indonesia, and 'AWS re/Start', which is now available in 13 countries across the region, are equipping many people from minority, displaced, and refugee groups with the skills to launch entry-level tech careers.

We believe AI and machine learning are among the most transformational technologies of our time. AWS is committed to supporting organisations and individuals from all walks of life on the path ahead through our continued investment in new digital skills training schemes across the region. We are in the early stages of a technological revolution that will continue for decades to come, and we are excited to see how our customers put this technology in action.

Utilise 'AWS Skill Builder' to access AWS’s free and subscription cloud skills courses.

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By Andrew Sklar, AWS

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