Google, AI, and a free up-skilling program

A conversation with Andrew Dunckelman, head of education and economic opportunity,

“Machine learning and artificial intelligence are having profound changes on the way that we work,” says Andrew Dunckelman,’s head of Education and Economic Opportunity. We’re all going to have to learn new things on the job, but “reskilling does not have to be a scary thing,” he adds as he points to his own company as evidence.

Dunckelman describes Google as an AI-first company in which everyone needs some command of artificial intelligence. To make certain employees are getting the skills they need to change with their jobs, Google developed a Machine Learning Crash Course.

“It’s 40 hours of content, delivered by Googlers for Googlers,” he explains. “We’ve actually encouraged our engineers, every level of the company, whether you’re a junior, an entry-level engineer, all the way to our most senior staff engineers, to go through this program.”

More than 18,000 people inside Google have completed the free course, and now the company is making it available to the world at large, also for free.

For this episode of Work in Progress, Dunckelman and I sat down after his presentation at the Talent Forward 2019 national workforce conference held by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation this fall.

Andrew Dunckelman, second from right (Photo: David Bohrer/USCCF)

Our conversation covered efforts inside and outside of Google to address the skills gap. We agreed that businesses need to step up, as well as local governments, educators, and employees themselves. “Solving for how the economy is going to change will require all of those actors. Anybody who tells you that they can reduce it to one group is a charlatan,” he argues.

I’d love you to hear for yourself Dunckelman’s thoughts on the issue. You can listen to Work in Progress here, and, of course, you can find the podcast wherever you get your podcasts.

We hope you enjoy the conversation.

Episode 116: Andrew Dunckelman, Head of Education & Economic Opportunity,
Host: Ramona Schindelheim, Editor-in-Chief, WorkingNation
Producer: Larry Buhl
Executive Producers: Joan Lynch, Melissa Panzer, and Ramona Schindelheim
Engineer: Daniel Tureck
Music: Composed by Lee Rosevere and licensed under CC by 4.0.

You can check out all the other podcasts at this link: Work in Progress podcasts

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