Microsoft has announced the setting up of a new ‘AI Digital Lab’ in 10 of India’s top ranking academic institutions. The institutes covered under this program include BITS Pilani, BML Munjal University, ISB, Kalpataru Institute of Technology, KL University, Periyar University, Karunya University, SRM University, SVKM (NMIMS) and Trident Academy of Technology.

AI, Machine learning and Big Data are three of the most prized career opportunities in today’s fast-paced times. And while India does produce a massive number of Engineers, less than a pinch of them are actually skilled in these future-ready tech. Microsoft’s initiative is large to accelerate that skill development learning curve.

“As AI becomes mainstream, organizations will require talent with skillsets that are very different from what exist now. Educators and institutions are integral to the skilling revolution taking root in the country. With the right technology infrastructure, curriculum and training, we can empower today’s students to build the India of tomorrow,” said Anant Maheshwari, President, Microsoft India.

As part of the three-year program, Microsoft will support the selected institutions with best-in-class infrastructure, curriculum and content, access to cloud and AI services as well as developer support. The company will facilitate setting up of core AI infrastructure and IoT Hub as well as provide access to a wide range of AI developmental tools and Azure AI Services such as Microsoft Cognitive Services, Azure Machine Learning and Bot Services.

An interesting piece of this entire initiative is training programs for faculty members in these institutes. These faculty training programs will include workshops on cloud computing, data sciences, AI and IoT. Additionally, the faculty of the institutions will receive assistance in strategizing content and curricula for project-based and experiential learning.