Monday, May 27, 2024

Microsoft CEO skips PH in SE Asia tour but bares AI skilling initiative

The Philippines was not included in the recent tour in Southeast Asia of Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who announced major investments in Indonesia ($1.7 billion), Malaysia ($2.2 billion), and Thailand (data center).

However, the company announced an AI skilling initiative that will be implemented in partnership with governments, nonprofit and corporate organizations, and communities across Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam.

Microsoft said the AI skilling initiative aligns with the Asean Digital Masterplan 2025 to build an AI-ready talent pool in the region.

The tech firm’s skilling project will focus on four areas: building an AI-ready workforce; bridging the cybersecurity talent gap; enhancing developers’ AI skills; and empowering nonprofit organizations to maximize their social impact.

“What’s truly exciting is the innovation mindset already prevalent in Asean. Investing in AI skills is investing in a future where economic growth is inclusive, giving every person a chance to contribute and benefit. With a robust pool of talent skilled in disruptive technologies, Asean is well positioned for the global tech race,” said Andrea Della Mattea, president of Asean at Microsoft.

Microsoft said it will help strengthen vocational education systems across the Asean region to provide AI skills in partnership with the Asean Foundation and education ministries in the 10 member states, which will benefit an estimated 644,000 vocational students.

In the Philippines, Microsoft said it will equip one million learners from kindergarten to grade 12 with AI and cybersecurity skills.

Furthermore, Microsoft said it will strengthen its collaboration with the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) by investing in a new initiative to equip 100,000 TESDA female learners with AI and cybersecurity skills.

As part of its global Cybersecurity Skilling Initiative, Microsoft said it has designed and curated training programs with nonprofit organizations to help create alternative pathways for underrepresented youths into the cybersecurity industry.

To support the Asean region’s 7 million-strong developer community, Microsoft has launched the Asia AI Odyssey campaign, which highlights how Microsoft’s AI Applied Skills validate the specific technical competencies required to build transformative AI applications.

The campaign is running across Asia and aims to train 30,000 developers in Asean countries, encouraging greater use of AI services in the digital economy.

Microsoft said it will also provide nonprofits in Asean countries with access to the Microsoft Resources Hub and the LinkedIn for Nonprofits Resource Hub to help maximize their social impact and lead change in the AI era.

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