Education In Focus Magazine

How to Close the AI Skills Gap

NVIDIA logoHow to help students, educators, and researchers to upskill on AI, HPC, and data science.

Words: Kevin McFall, NVIDIA

The European Commission proclaimed 2023 as the European Year of Skills. Upskilling and reskilling has been recognised as a priority, and applying AI skills has the potential to transform every industry. Demand for AI, accelerated computing, and HPC programming skills is booming. And, as this demand grows, a notable skills gap is forming. Governments, universities and enterprises around the world are looking for ways to grow their expertise in these cutting edge technologies that are playing a tremendous role in transforming industries, improving the economy, and more.

One of the companies at the forefront of AI and HPC innovations is NVIDIA. The company’s invention of the GPU in 1999 sparked the growth of the PC gaming market, redefining computer graphics. It ignited the era of modern AI, whilst also fueling the creation of the metaverse. In recent years, NVIDIA has powered AI breakthroughs across all industries. From helping scientists in DNA sequencing of the human genome to creating a digital twin of our planet, Earth-2, designed to help predict climate change decades in advance. This has enabled researchers and developers to solve the world’s greatest challenges as their primary mission.

To help bridge the current skills gap, NVIDIA has introduced their educational initiative, the NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute (DLI), which offers a number of diverse resources to support the full spectrum of developers.

From self-paced learning and instructor-led training to comprehensive educator programs, educators and students can advance their knowledge in the latest skills with NVIDIA DLI. It also provides entire nations with an opportunity to build robust programmes to up-skill their populations.

Empowering Educators

Manuel Ujaldón, a Full Professor at University of Malaga, uses NVIDIA teaching kits as part of his curriculum. He’s organised more than 150 NVIDIA courses as a certified instructor over the last decade.

Through NVIDIA DLI Teaching Kits, educators can get free access to lecture materials, hands-on exercises, GPU cloud resources, and more.

The kits have been co-created with academic partners, including Professor Yann LeCun and his team from New York University, University of Oxford, and the Georgia Institute of Technology.  Each kit contains materials that combine the latest industry trends, GPU architectures, applications with fundamental theory, and academic approaches to teaching.

“Teaching kits are a time-saving tool for preparing classes, optimising teaching effort and maximising engagement from students,” says Ujaldón. “Students look to NVIDIA as the reliable source that prepares them for the challenge of joining companies in the sector.”

As well as using the teaching kits as part of his curriculum, Ujaldón has taken advantage of the benefits that come with collaborating with NVIDIA DLI by becoming a DLI University Ambassador. Ambassadors are able to deliver the latest hands-on workshops free for university faculty, students, and researchers in the areas of GPU-accelerated computing, AI, and data science.

DLI workshop participants at the Computer Science Department of the University of Cape Town.

Explore all available DLI Teaching Kits here.

Nurturing National Competence Centres & Governments

National Competence Centres (NCCs) are the central points of contact for HPC and related technologies in their country. They benefit from leveraging the training content and educator programs offered.

The UK-based STFC Hartree Centre works with the NVIDIA Deep Learning Institute to upskill UK developers, researchers and students in AI, data science and HPC.

“At the Hartree Centre, we have NVIDIA Ambassadors teaching DLI courses ranging from GPU programming to Deep Learning for Computer Vision,” explains Evguenia Alexandrova, Training and Events Manager at the Hartree Centre. “Collaborating with NVIDIA enhances our ongoing work to close the UK’s digital skills gap by providing access to learning materials that save us time and help us to scale up our training programme.”

The benefits of the NVIDIA DLI educator programmes also extend to the government departments responsible for defining nation-wide goals for upskilling, and defining budgets and initiatives that will impact the work of NCCs, university research projects, and school curricula.

“Serbia is taking actions to tackle a skill gap for the development and use of AI,” says Professor Dubravko Culibrk, Director of The Institute for Artificial Intelligence Research and Development of Serbia and a DLI Ambassador. “By working with NVIDIA DLI resources, we’re able to enhance our national strategy for AI, provide support for various educational and research institutions and improve the uptake of AI across the country.”

With resources like those available through NVIDIA’s DLI, there are steps that can be taken at every level – grad, post-grad, workplace, or country – all of which contribute to new opportunities for individuals and the economy in general.

To get more insights and context on the state of AI skills in Europe, watch the panel discussion to hear about the most in-demand skills in the market, and the options for bridging the skills gap. Watch the recording of the session with DIGITALEUROPE, TechUK, EuroCC, MinnaLearn and Budapest University from NVIDIA GTC 2023.

GÉANT CONNECT Magazine - CONNECT 44. How do GÉANT and the NRENs support Open ScienceThis article is featured on CONNECT 44, the latest issue of the GÉANT CONNECT Magazine!

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