LinkedIn begins AI Academy to assist its employees

Monitoring Desk


WASHINGTON: Artificial intelligence has become a mainstay in modern electronics so it should come as no shock that even LinkedIn – the social network for professionals – is taking notice and launching a new initiative centered around the technology.


The new program is not at all meant for the platform’s users. Instead, the aptly dubbed “AI Academy” is a new focus on informing employees of LinkedIn about the technology and how tools based on such solutions can be incorporated into their work. In fact, according to the head of science and engineering at LinkedIn, Craig Martell, AI Academy is a response to the fact that universities aren’t teaching graduates A.I. skills quickly enough. That’s despite the fact that the technology is pervasive enough that even LinkedIn is going to need to find ways to use it in order to stay competitive. So, rather than hiring a lot of new graduates with degrees in that area, the company is focusing on teaching its own employees.


Of course, training will be led by A.I. experts that already work as part of LinkedIn’s A.I. team. However, it will be offered at a variety of levels within the company, with special consideration for how the technology will affect the various roles at the company. Those will be split into four categories, starting with Level 1, which the firm has titled “Product/Engineering Manager Awareness.” That will be tied in with designing and managing an A.I. project relevant to the employee’s specific job. Level 2, meanwhile, will center around partnerships with relevance teams, while Level 3 centers around Building A.I. products within a team. For example, LinkedIn describes Course AI200, “Building an AI Product from End-to-End,” for engineers. That course is a five-week program at one class per week, followed by a one-month “apprenticeship” working with the company’s core A.I. team to take a project through each step from design to maintenance. Finally, Level 4 is defined as a foray into the “State of the Art,” taking trainees to the bleeding edge of the technology. Presumably, each level is a further step up in terms of knowledge gained.


Going further still, LinkedIn is spending a significant amount of effort on instilling company employees with a solid foundation for ethics within the context of A.I. implementations. In fact, it’s a core part of each level of the curriculum.

With consideration for the concerns that the technology has raised among some of the day’s top thinkers and how rapidly the use of it has grown, that’s most likely a good approach to take. It’s also only going to become more relevant as the technology becomes more advanced.

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