Michelle Donelan: Google AI Training Programme Supports UK as the ‘Home of AI’

Google’s AI training programme has been labelled a “vote of confidence” in ambitions to make the UK the “Home of AI”, according to Michelle Donelan, head of the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology.

Image Credit: Google AI

Donelan praised the tech giant’s new AI training programme to equip its staff with AI skills, streamed via video at Google’s London headquarters in King’s Cross.

Michell Donelan, Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology, said: “The recent explosion in the use of AI tools like ChatGPT and Google’s Bard show that we are on the cusp of a new and exciting era in artificial intelligence, and it is one that will dramatically improve people’s lives.”

Google’s training courses aim to provide staff with basic skills to utilise AI for personal and business use, through 10 modules including growing productivity and understanding machine learning.

Responding to the news, Oseloka Obiora, CTO at RiverSafe, commented: “AI skills training is essential for businesses in order to embrace the benefits, and all organisations should be looking to increase staff understanding and awareness of what AI is capable of.

“Part of this training should also focus on the risks it poses as an emerging technology to mitigate both internal threats, such as staff uploading confidential information onto chatbots, and external threats such as AI-powered cyber-attacks. In fact, recent RiverSafe research highlighted that 80 per cent of cybersecurity leaders believe AI poses the greatest cyber threat to their business - so increased training is needed to ensure safety and security.”

The 45-minute-long training modules are aimed at staff with no prior knowledge on AI, providing them the basic skills to use it within their role.

John Kirk, Deputy CEO for Team ITG, commented: “It is great to see the Minister for Science, Innovation and Technology supporting AI training programmes and upskilling from tech giants, helping to spearhead UK R&D and create an AI-adept workforce. In the creative industries, AI acts as a powerful tool at the disposal of creative teams and marketers, enabling them to deliver campaigns on a global scale quicker than ever before, freeing them up to focus on what they love - being creative. Regular tech training, especially around AI, is important to maximise the potential of creative teams and ensure they’re always ahead of the game on emerging trends.”

Donelan also praised Google’s “ambitious” training programme in a speech, praising its support in the government’s goal of making the UK the intellectual and geographical “home of AI.”

The news comes following a wave of UK Government innovation including the recent £54 million investment to encourage the secure and trustworthy development of AI, building on the Government’s National AI Strategy.

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