Top tech companies are launching a consortium to address AI’s impact on the workforce

by PRESTON FORE and published by

If you’re part of the tech workforce, you’d better fasten your seatbelt. Because it’s going to be a rocky ride.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) expects that nearly a quarter of global jobs will change over the next five years in part thanks to AI. And the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) predictions go even further, with an expected 60% of jobs in advanced economics being exposed to the technology.

While these may not sound like a lot on paper, this translates to billions of affected lives—and the tech companies know it.

That’s why starting today, nine of the world’s biggest tech companies are joining forces to tackle AI’s impact on the tech workforce through a new consortium: the AI-Enabled Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Workforce Consortium.

Led by Cisco and joined by Accenture, Eightfold, Google, IBM, Indeed, Intel, Microsoft, and SAP, the group is hoping to be able to stay ahead of the rapidly growing and moving AI wave by recommending skilling and upskilling opportunities to ensure workers can adapt.

Many of the companies already have existing skills training goals, totaling to more than 95 million individuals over the next 10 years, including Intel and IBM commitments specifically relating to AI. But as Francine Katsoudas, the chief people, policy and purpose officer at Cisco, admits—all of the various paths can be overwhelming for learners. This, in part, contributed to the companies realizing they cannot truly tackle AI’s impact on the workforce alone.

“What’s unique about this moment is I think it’s really how AI from a technology perspective is coming together,” Katsoudas tells Fortune. “And I think for all of us, there’s this realization that for those that perhaps are not connected, for those who have been impacted by the digital divide, there’s risk here if we don’t move forward a bit faster.”

The consortium also includes six advisors, including the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) and Khan Academy.

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author avatar
Celia French

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