Aiming to fill skills gap in AI, Microsoft makes training courses available to the public

As a software engineer at Microsoft, Elena Voyloshnikova’s job is to make informed recommendations about how to improve the performance of software engineering tools.

But too often, she spends her days manually analyzing the data she needs to make those decisions. Lately, her team has been discussing the potential of building machine learning models to automate that task – creating more time to focus on the decision-making.

That’s why she was intrigued when she received an email announcing an upcoming AI training session for Microsoft employees.

“I asked my manager, ‘Can I go to this?’” she said. “I thought it looked like a good overview of things I would like to know.”

Voyloshnikova was one of more than 1,200 employees who attended the session in person or via livestream – an audience size that reflects the desire even of people who work in technology companies to better understand AI.