Google offers online course in jobs push amid concerns about AI

(Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc.’s Google is launching a new online education program to certify people for work in information technology support, part of the internet giant’s philanthropic push around job training.

Google has poured billions into artificial intelligence, a technology that many expect will render jobs across several fields obsolete. Last year, Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai introduced a companywide initiative focused on employment. He announced Google would give $1 billion over five years to nonprofits in the field.

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Shadows of attendees are seen on a wall at the Google Inc. booth during the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018. Electric and driverless cars will remain a big part of this year's CES, as makers of high-tech cameras, batteries, and AI software vie to climb into automakers' dashboards. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg

The new program, developed with online education firm Coursera Inc., is designed to help people without formal training or college degrees find IT jobs at large companies. “As technology advances change or replace more jobs, we must create more pathways for people to jump into the new, high-paying careers of the future,” Jeff Maggioncalda, Coursera’s CEO, said in a statement.

Google said it developed the curriculum based on its own training of support staff. The company said it will fund financial assistance for over 10,000 participants program, pooled from the $1 billion it has already pledged.