IBM has announced that over the next two years it intends to hire 1,800 new workers focused on the areas of cloud computing, AI, blockchain, and IoT. The announcement was made by IBM chair and CEO Ginni Rometty at today's "Tech for Good" summit in Paris.
"IBM plans to hire business consultants, IT architects, developers and technical experts, including both new graduates and experienced professionals," stated the press release that followed the announcement.
These 1,800 jobs include 400 AI-related positions that IBM had already announced it would create in March, at the French AI for Humanity summit. At that event, Macron announced a €1.5 billion plan to turn France into a world leader in AI technology.
"President Macron is making a big bet, and a smart one, that AI is going to transform every job, every profession and every industry," said Rometty.
In conjunction with the AI summit, French Prime Minister Edouard Philippe commissioned a strategy paper that adressed not only economic, but also ethical and ecological concerns related to AI. At Wednesday's summit, Macron hit a similar note, admonishing attendees to use their considerable power for the benefit of the public good.
"There is no free lunch," he reportedly told the group, which including heads of Uber, Intel and Microsoft, as well as Rometty and Mark Zuckerberg, only one day after he faced tough questions from the European Parliament.
IBM's announcement dovetails with both Macron's ongoing efforts to claim a leading role for France in 21st century technologies and his interest in seeing tech companies take public concerns more seriously.
As part of its hiring push, IBM claims it will be partnering with the French government in a program called P-TECH, which will provide high school-aged students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, with job training and mentorships.
"We'll be piloting schools with the minister of education, all around, building a set of characteristics, a set of skills, for young people to participate without a university degree, and that they too can have fantastic jobs that live at the intersection with these new technologies," Rometty said in the video announcement.