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Nvidia Is Aiming to Train the Next Generation of AI Experts

Artificial intelligence is rapidly making its way into industries from cybersecurity to manufacturing, bringing with it a growing need for data scientists and developers with a proficiency in deep learning.

California-based AI chipmaker Nvidia, one of our 50 Smartest Companies of 2017, today announced an expansion of its Deep Learning Institute (DLI) aimed at helping to curb this issue.

Founded last year, the DLI aims to address the AI skills gap by training up students and today’s workforce in the ways of AI—and specifically deep learning, the technique that powers today’s powerful speech and image recognition algorithms, among others. Deep learning is complex, and working in the field has traditionally required great technical knowledge and expertise (see “10 Breakthrough Technologies 2013: Deep Learning”). Nvidia's move joins several organizations pushing to make the technology more accessible.

Among those is AI4ALL, a group that pushes for greater diversity among those working in AI, and, an AI online education venture. Founded by Olga Russakovsky, one of our 35 Innovators Under 35 for 2017, AI4ALL will work with DLI to bring free AI training and mentors to high school students around the country. The partnership will be focused on online content creation through the Coursera platform.

When we spoke to founder Andrew Ng in August, he emphasized the need to bring AI education to the forefront. “I don’t think every person on the planet needs to know deep learning. But if AI is the new electricity, look at the number of electrical engineers and electricians there are,” Ng said. “There’s a huge workforce that needs to be built up for society to figure out how to do all of the wonderful stuff around us today.”