AVPN launches $15M AI Opportunity Fund with Google.org, ADB support


AVPN, the premier network of social investors headquartered in Singapore, has unveiled the $15 million Artificial Intelligence (AI) Opportunity Fund: Asia-Pacific, in collaboration with Google.org and the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

In a statement released on Monday, AVPN outlined the fund’s objective as a three-year initiative aimed at equipping Asia’s workforce with essential AI knowledge and tools necessary for the evolving job market. The goal is to ensure that opportunities presented by AI are accessible to a broader spectrum of people in the region, particularly those from marginalized communities.

Through an open call, the fund seeks to identify and select non-profit organizations, social enterprises, and workforce associations across the Asia-Pacific region that effectively engage with workers most affected by AI-driven workforce transitions. Selected organizations will receive comprehensive support, including guidance, financial assistance, and customized AI training based on foundational courses developed by Google and its partners.

Scott Beaumont, President of Google Asia-Pacific, emphasized the transformative potential of AI in the region, stating, “AI presents tremendous opportunities for the Asia-Pacific region, but it’s crucial to equip people with the skills needed to thrive.” He expressed confidence that the AI Opportunity Fund will empower underserved communities and ensure widespread benefits from AI advancements.

The initiative comes at a time when employers in the Asia-Pacific region are increasingly optimistic about AI’s ability to enhance productivity. However, concerns persist among employees about potential job displacement due to AI automation, particularly among disadvantaged populations. Naina Subberwal Batra, CEO of AVPN, underscored the urgency of building an AI-ready workforce to unlock Asia’s full potential and address the socioeconomic impact of AI-driven job transitions.

Jason Rush, Principal Regional Cooperation Specialist at ADB, emphasized the importance of bridging skills and knowledge gaps in underserved communities to facilitate access to AI-driven opportunities. He highlighted the AI Opportunity Fund as a crucial tool to support organizations in upskilling and reskilling workers, enabling them to benefit from the evolving job landscape shaped by AI technology.

AVPN, comprising over 600 funders and resource providers across 33 markets, aims to enhance the flow and effectiveness of capital in Asia by enabling members to channel resources towards impactful initiatives. Google.org, Google’s philanthropic arm, collaborates with nonprofits, social enterprises, and civic entities to address societal challenges and create scalable, meaningful change. Through their combined efforts, AVPN and Google.org strive to harness the potential of AI to promote inclusive growth and opportunity across the Asia-Pacific region.

Source: technode.global