Google Continues to Ramp Up its European AI Investments

Google announces a €25M (US$26.98m) investment to help people across Europe improve their AI skills and knowledge, focusing on equity and regional growth

Google has pledged €25m (US$26.98m) to fund people across Europe learning to best utilise artificial intelligence (AI).

The tech giant states that it has opened applications for social enterprises and non-profit organisations so that it can reach those most likely to benefit from the AI training. Google will also run a series of ‘growth academies’ to support enterprises looking to scale their businesses with AI.

The news comes in the wake of Google continuing to expand its data centre presence across Europe, having bought numerous sites around the world to support rising customer demands during an age of rapid digital transformation.

Closing the AI divide: Google advocates for AI equity

Launched today (12th February 2024) as the AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe, Google is cementing its belief that AI will have a transformative impact on Europe’s economy. As a result, the company highlights its commitment to ensuring that AI opportunities are available to all.

“We’re pursuing AI boldly and responsibly to ensure that everyone can benefit. Innovation has always been a team sport, and AI is no exception,” says Matt Brittin, President of Google EMEA. “We’re committed to playing our part - working together with EU governments, civil society, academics and businesses to find the right path to land this technology safely and for everyone.”

“For AI to benefit everyone, it must be built by - and be accessible to - everyone.”

With a particular focus on vulnerable and underserved communities, Google has launched the initiative to help provide training and skills to better support people and countries to best capitalise on AI. It will work in partnership with governments and local communities in order to provide a range of foundational and advanced AI training for communities and startups.

As part of this offering, Google has also expanded its free online AI training courses to 18 languages - with the goal of working towards greater equality within the wider technological landscape.

“Research shows that the benefits of AI could exacerbate existing inequalities — especially in terms of economic security and employment,” says Adrian Brown, Executive Director of the Centre for Public Impact, which is running the non-profit scheme alongside Google.

“This new programme will help people across Europe develop their knowledge, skills and confidence around AI, ensuring that no one is left behind.”

A commitment to advancing regional technology

The company is also working on several AI partnerships in order to help organisations better utilise AI and generative AI (Gen AI) systems. In fact, Danfoss is currently using Google Cloud’s Gen AI capabilities to optimise customer experiences, streamline internal work processes and improve productivity across the organisation.

In line with Google’s commitment to improving the sustainability of its data centres, Danfoss will help to implement cooling systems for data centres, including the design of systems that reuse the excess heat produced by the facilities.

Google is keen to invest in the data centre in particular, as part of its wider plans to improve global connectivity, which vastly includes Europe. The goal is to ultimately support local communities and continue AI growth after an explosion in demand for new technologies.

In particular, the company has started construction on its new UK-based US$1bn data centre just outside of London to meet the growing demand for Google services in the region. As a result, Google aims to provide jobs and support the local economy with its connectivity services.

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