Google Cloud unveils AI upskilling courses in Indonesia
Article by Nathan Hew
For Google, Indonesia is a country with huge digital opportunities. The world’s fourth most populated country already has one of the biggest growths when it comes to e-commerce and digitalization.
According to the e-Conomy SEA report, the Southeast Asian region could see growth up to US$360 billion by 2025 in e-commerce, food delivery and digital financial services. Indonesia is expected to be a big contributor to achieving this, especially with one in three Indonesians having access to the Internet.
At the recent Google Cloud Jakarta Summit 2023, the tech giant unveiled new solutions and resources available to organizations of all sizes in Indonesia to help them leverage the power of artificial intelligence (AI) quickly, securely, and responsibly. AI is already seeing increased adoption globally, especially with recent innovations.
Upskilling talent for the AI economy
Businesses around the world continue to invest heavily in AI technology, with the hopes that it can enhance their productivity and efficiency. In Southeast Asia, organizations are hoping AI can also help solve the skills shortage problem in some areas. However, investing in AI solutions alone is not enough. Businesses need to ensure there is a workforce that is skilled and trained in working with AI.
With the rise of AI for businesses — specifically generative AI like ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Bing — Google is making career paths in generative AI more accessible to individuals. Google Cloud is providing seven free new generative AI skills development courses available under its Cloud Skills Boost Program. At its core, the learning path helps to develop a solid understanding of the difference between generative AI and other types of AI, how to customize pre-trained generative AI models for use in applications, how to apply AI responsibly, and many more.
After acquiring foundational skills in generative AI, learners can pursue other machine learning (ML) and data science learning paths or industry-recognized IT certifications through the Cloud Skills Boost platform. Thanks to the convenience of online education, Indonesians can now seize the opportunity to build and demonstrate their proficiency in cloud AI skills to prospective employers.
“By making new skilling courses, pre-trained models, developer-friendly tools, and startup support available in Indonesia, Google Cloud is reinforcing its commitment toward empowering organizations of all sizes to deploy generative AI with ease and speed while protecting their data, applications, and users,” says Megawaty Khie, Regional Director for Indonesia and Malaysia at Google Cloud in a press release.
The Google for AI Startups Cloud Program has also been available for startups in Indonesia that use AI as their core technology to develop primary products or solutions. Covering cloud costs up to US$350,ooo over two years, the program aims to support Series A startups. For pre-seed AI-first startups, the program will provide up to US$2,000 in free cloud credits to help fund development of proof-of-concepts and showcase of products to prospective investors and customers.
What are some other reskilling initiatives in Indonesia?
As a thriving mobile-first nation, Indonesia is among the fastest growing mobile markets globally. According to data.ai’s 2022 spotlight report, new app downloads in the country have surpassed 7.3 billion in 2021 — a 33% increase from pre-pandemic levels in 2019.
To expand and fuel Indonesia’s digital economy, Google supports developers and entrepreneurs at all levels within the region through upskilling training, mentoring, online scholarships, and university partnerships. Since 2016, the initiatives have trained more than 65,000 Indonesians — from beginners to more advanced developers.
Indonesia Android Kejar (IAK), for instance, provides courses on programming for the Android mobile platform. It helps aspiring programmers in Indonesia attain entry-level jobs as Android developers and nurtures the skills of intermediate and advanced-level developers. IAK supplements Udacity online training with offline, in-classroom study groups led by facilitators and designed to guide people through the process of building mobile applications.
On top of this, they are also investing in offline education at traditional learning institutions. Google has partnered with universities, such as Institut Teknologi Bandung and Universitas Telkom, to incorporate the Android Developer Fundamentals course into their final-year curricula. Currently, they have trained faculty at 80 Indonesian institutions who will teach these courses to thousands of students throughout the academic year.
Similarly, Google designed “Bangkit” to prepare students with in-demand skills and tech certifications. The curriculum has three interdisciplinary learning paths: machine learning, mobile development, and cloud computing. This year, Bangkit is offered as a “Kampus Merdeka’s Study Independent Bersertifikat” program supported by the Ministry of Education, Culture, Research and Technology of the Republic of Indonesia.
Reskilling and upskilling courses in the region
Apart from Indonesia, Google has also announced several reskilling and upskilling courses and initiatives in the region. In Malaysia, Google launched a new digital training program in Malaysia last year. The Gemilang program offers flexible learning paths for all Malaysians including Google Career Certificates, enabling learners to develop their knowledge and acquire digital skills for high-demand jobs. In its mission to Advance Malaysia Together, Google has also reinforced its commitment to enable an equitable and inclusive digital economy by offering 31,000 scholarships through local partners, comprising education institutions, industry partners, and nonprofits.
Over in Singapore, Google upskilling courses like the Skills Ignition SG (SISG) program, which was launched in 2020 in collaboration with the Singaporean government, has seen more than 5,500 people acquire new skills and received certification. Google also revealed that, in support of the Digital for Life movement, they will be collaborating with the Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA) and the Media Literacy Council to train 50,000 parents and kids on online safety over the course of the next 12 months, starting by introducing the Be Internet Awesome (BIA) curriculum to primary schools.
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