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Ikea Creates Training Ecosystem to Support AI Literacy for 3,500 Employees

Alexandr Blinov-stock.Adobe.com

Ingka Group, parent company of Ikea Retail, has set ambitious targets for boosting the AI literacy of its organization, including AI training for approximately 3,000 employees and 500 executives. The initiative will include a variety of courses, tailored to the needs of employees at various levels and in different phases of their AI journeys, with the overall goal of embedding a deep understanding of AI within the organization and ensuring that Ikea values are reflected in the ways the technology is used.

Course topics will range from AI Fundamentals, available to all employees, to specialized training such as Responsible AI, Mastering Gen AI and Algorithmic Training for Ethics. Ikea also has invested in an Accelerator Program for tech enthusiasts with a Masters or PhD in the fields of data science, machine learning or large language models, as the retailer seeks to fill critical roles by attracting and nurturing the right talent.

Additionally, Ikea is developing various proprietary AI tools in-house or jointly with suppliers. For example, the recently launched Hej Copilot, designed in collaboration with Microsoft, can assist employees with tasks ranging from test and image creation to generating ideas and crafting presentations.

“This effort is a testament to the Ikea belief in the power of its people to harness technology for greater creativity, efficiency and results,” said Parag Parekh, CDO of Ikea Retail in a statement. “Our vision is clear. It’s about enhancing the capabilities of coworkers through technology, ensuring that Ikea continues to be the place where innovation and compassion go hand in hand.”

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In January 2024 Inkga Group touted “game-changing results” from its use of AI-powered demand sensing technology, and the retailer debuted a customer-facing generative AI home design tool in February 2024.

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