‘AI Odyssey’: Microsoft’s Initiative to Upskill India

Microsoft has launched a new program called ‘AI Odyssey’ to train 100,000 developers in India in the latest AI technologies and tools. The program is part of Microsoft’s global skilling initiative and aims to help developers acquire relevant skills for AI projects. The program will also support organizations to create new ways of training, upskilling and reskilling workers in generative AI through a grant challenge with data.org.

Microsoft, one of the leading technology companies in the world, has announced the launch of a new initiative called ‘AI Odyssey’ to upskill 100,000 developers in India in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2024. The initiative is part of Microsoft’s global skilling initiative, which aims to help 25 million people worldwide acquire new digital skills.

AI Odyssey is designed to help developers learn the latest AI technologies and tools, such as Azure Machine Learning, Azure Cognitive Services, and GitHub. The initiative will provide developers with access to free online courses, live demos, hands-on workshops, and assignments. The courses will cover topics such as data science, machine learning, natural language processing, computer vision, and conversational AI.

The initiative will also help developers gain certification and recognition for their AI skills. Developers who complete the courses will receive a Career Essentials certificate from Microsoft and LinkedIn. The certificate will validate their AI skills and help them showcase their expertise to potential employers and clients.

In addition to skilling developers, AI Odyssey will also support organizations that are working to create new ways of training, upskilling and reskilling workers in generative AI. Generative AI is a branch of AI that can create new content or data from existing ones, such as images, text, music, or video. Generative AI has applications in various domains, such as entertainment, education, marketing, and social good.

To foster innovation and impact in generative AI, Microsoft has partnered with data.org, a platform for data-driven social change, to launch a new open grant challenge. The challenge will invite proposals from nonprofit, social enterprise, and research or academic institutions that are using generative AI to address social and economic challenges. The challenge will award up to $1 million in grants to the selected proposals, as well as provide them with cloud computing resources, data training, and technical guidance from Microsoft and GitHub experts.

According to Microsoft, AI Odyssey is a response to the growing demand and opportunity for AI skills in India. India is one of the fastest-growing digital economies in the world, with a projected digital workforce of 500 million by 2025. AI is expected to play a key role in driving India’s digital transformation and economic growth, as well as solving some of the country’s most pressing problems, such as health, education, agriculture, and environment.

However, there is also a gap between the supply and demand of AI talent in India. According to a report by NASSCOM, India’s IT industry body, only 1.7% of the country’s workforce has AI skills, compared to 8.8% in China and 32% in the US. The report also estimated that India needs 230,000 AI professionals by 2021, but only 90,000 are available.

To bridge this gap, Microsoft has been collaborating with various stakeholders, such as the government, academia, industry, and civil society, to promote AI education and awareness in India. Microsoft has also been supporting various AI initiatives and projects in India, such as AI for Good, AI for Health, AI for Earth, and AI for Accessibility.

AI Odyssey is a program by Microsoft to train 100,000 developers in India in the latest AI technologies and tools by 2024. To participate in AI Odyssey, you need to be a developer who is interested in learning and applying AI skills. You can register for the program on the AI Odyssey website and access free online courses, live demos, workshops, and assignments. You can also earn a Career Essentials certificate from Microsoft and LinkedIn after completing the courses. Additionally, you can apply for a grant challenge with data.org if you have an innovative idea for using generative AI to address social and economic challenges.

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