The AI Academy: How We’re Scaling AI Across LinkedIn


We aren’t trying to turn every engineer into an AI Ph.D with this program—that would be impossible. Instead, we are opening up the AI toolbox to all of our engineers, so that they can more easily incorporate AI into their day-to-day work. We have incredible AI specialists at LinkedIn who design thoughtful and impactful systems. If we can train other software engineers on how to use these, that’s a win for everyone.

AI is an incredibly powerful tool. It is of paramount importance to us that anyone trained to use AI should also be well-trained in how to wield it responsibly. To that end, ethical approaches to AI are an important part of our curriculum. We look at issues like choosing training data without bias and evaluating results against individual subgroups and not just the aggregate. Additionally, we’re taking great care to ensure that any AI work at LinkedIn is still overseen by our specialist teams. The Academy is training engineers on how to use AI tools, but the full understanding of how those tools are composed is beyond the scope of what we can cover. That’s why it’s important that we have the continual guidance of the specialists who built these tools to ensure they’re being used responsibly.

Future plans

For us, success with the AI Academy looks like every engineer, product manager, and other employee at LinkedIn knowing the optimal amount about AI for their job. Our goal is to scale AI across all of LinkedIn. This will give all of our our employees a language in common with our AI specialists, facilitating further collaboration, and will allow us to continue increasing the value we provide our members.

Today, there are also many other resources that our employees can leverage for more general AI education, such as LinkedIn Learning, Microsoft Professional Program for Artificial Intelligence, and Learn with Google AI. While these resources have a more general use case than the AI Academy, we may evaluate their future use for a self-service model for specific use cases and groups of stakeholders.

As we further develop the program, we are exploring making it part of our onboarding process for new employees. This would help us realize our vision of making sure every employee has the access and understanding they need to work with AI in their specific role.

We’re looking forward to continuing to share updates and lessons learned as more cohorts graduate from the AI Academy.

Acknowledgements

The LinkedIn AI Academy would not be possible without the great people behind it. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Badrul Sarwar and Erik Buchanan for stepping up and running the show. I am also grateful for our inaugural engineer-teachers: Apoorv Khandelwal, Jerry Lin, Skylar Payne, David DiCato, Sarah Xing, and Ben McCann. Lastly, I would like thank Deepak Agarwal, Igor Perisic, and Mohak Shroff for their helpful support, feedback and for pushing our team to be ambitious in its goals.



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