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AWS looks to plug skills gap with machine learning ‘boot camp’

Amazon experts will teach enterprise workforce to build and run AI models.

By CBR Staff Writer

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is making strides to plug the skills gap with a new service to partner machine learning experts with company staff.

The Amazon ML Solutions Lab will identify potential uses of machine learning within a client’s business and run workshops to train business users.

Skills gap

Amazon’s Day 1 Tower in Seattle, Washington

Tech teachers from Amazon will collaborate with enterprise leaders to “prepare data, build and train models and put models into production,” AWS said in a statement. It is hoped business professionals will develop long-term skills enabling them “to take what they have learned through the process and use it elsewhere in their organization.”

The basic service model echoes what smaller organisations have been offering businesses for years, but with the added cache of high-level engineers plus the resources to host client partners. Udacity offer “nanodegrees” among their corporate training packages and have worked with firms such as General Electric. Brainpool AI, used by Sainsburys, specialises in sector-specific training: Finance, Retail, Marketing and Healthcare.

For organizations who already have data ready for machine learning, AWS offers the ML Solutions Lab Express, a four-week intensive program involving a one-week “boot camp” at Amazon, and followed by three weeks of intensive problem-solving and machine learning model building with Amazon machine learning experts.

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A skills gap between workers and emerging tech capability is cited as one of the main factors inhibiting investment in smart technology; one in five manufactures told researchers at Barclays Corporate Banking this autumn they would hold back from 4IR tech spending for this reason. Just under half (45%) of IT decision makers surveyed by Deloitte felt their company did not do enough to educate those already in business on digital knowhow.

Swami Sivasubramanian, Vice President of Amazon AI, said the business opportunity aims to “start putting machine learning to work inside [client] organizations.”

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The service is only available in the US currently, and will be rolled out in other countries soon, the tech giant said. World Bank Group, Johnson & Johnson and Washington Post are the first clients of Amazons ML offering.

“We are pleased to state that the Amazon ML Solutions Lab quickly kicked off a deep learning workshop through which machine learning experts from Amazon have been brainstorming with and training our data scientists on applying deep learning to pharma-related use cases,” said Jesse Heap, Senior IT Manager, Data Sciences at Janssen, Inc., a Johnson & Johnson company.

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