Microsoft is furthering its AI reach by partnering with French online education service OpenClassrooms on a new artificial intelligence project. The companies will work together on an initiative to train and recruit students in AI development. Microsoft says the project will result in AI-trained employees entering the workforce.
OpenClassrooms is among the leading massive open online course (MOOC) platforms. Its services include access to courses across disciplines such as product design, programming, and management.
Under its collaboration with Microsoft, the platform will develop programs on Microsoft's projects. While it is clear Microsoft wants to have it pick of the best AI graduates, the company says masters-level graduates will have a choice of companies seeking AI employees.
“The demand for AI and machine learning opportunities has never been stronger,” says OpenClassrooms co-founder and CEO Pierre Dubuc. “We're excited to be an innovation partner to Microsoft to usher in new tactics that will bring top talent to the workforce.”
The online education platform will recruit 1,000 AI candidates for the courses. The company says candidates will come from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada and France. However, OpenClassrooms diplomas are only valid in the European Union at the moment. We suspect with Microsoft's backing that could change.
Furthermore, the partnership says if AI graduates cannot find a job within six months, their education fee is repaid. While that seems a bold move, demand for AI positions is far outweighing employee demand.
“As AI is changing the way we work and the nature of jobs, we have a responsibility to ensure graduates are prepared for the workplace of tomorrow,” says Jean-Philippe Courtois, Executive Vice President and President, Global Sales, Marketing and Operations at Microsoft. “We are excited to partner with OpenClassrooms to help equip people with the skills and opportunities they need to thrive in the digital economy.”