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Microsoft’s new £2.5bn knowledge centres are ‘turning level’ for AI in Britain

Microsoft’s new £2.5bn knowledge centres are ‘turning level’ for AI in Britain


Microsoft will make investments £2.5 billion in Britain over the subsequent three years to double its knowledge centre capability and supply computing energy to assist to drive the growth of synthetic intelligence.

The funding has been hailed by Rishi Sunak as “a turning level for the way forward for AI infrastructure and improvement within the UK”.

The American know-how firm plans to deliver greater than 20,000 superior graphics processing items to Britain by 2026. It plans to increase websites in London and Cardiff and is a “potential growth into northern England”.

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It stated the funding would assist with coaching “multiple million individuals for the AI financial system”, whereas it additionally pledged additionally to assist AI security and analysis efforts.

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s vice-chairman and president, stated: “Microsoft is dedicated as an organization to making sure that the UK as a rustic has world-leading AI infrastructure, easy accessibility to the talents individuals want and broad protections for security and safety.”

The heat phrases in regards to the UK as a enterprise vacation spot stand in distinction to feedback made earlier this yr, when the competitors watchdog blocked Microsoft’s $69 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard, the video games developer. The veto was lifted after Microsoft got here again with adjustments.

Smith, 64, was talking on a go to to Microsoft’s latest and largest knowledge centre, which is underneath building in Acton, west London. It is run absolutely on renewable vitality and, in response to issues over knowledge centres’ massive energy utilization, Microsoft has invested within the native vitality grid. It can be the way it can share vitality, warmth and water from its facility with the area people.

Brad Smith, the Microsoft president, left, speaks with Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, through the go to to Microsoft’s knowledge centre building website in Acton

The Microsoft government additionally known as consideration to Britain’s dedication to world collaboration on AI after the inaugural Safety Summit hosted by the federal government at Bletchley Park in the beginning of November, which was attended by 27 nations, together with China.

He beforehand has raised issues in regards to the threats from Chinese AI, revealing in an interview in May that Microsoft had uncovered proof of Chinese state-sponsored espionage. Smith stated on the time: “We ought to completely assume that sure nation states will use AI to launch cyberattacks.”

On Thursday, nonetheless, he responded positively to questions on whether or not the UK was proper to ask China to the AI summit desk: “I believe that the world must have a worldwide dialog and each nation ought to have a shared curiosity in making certain that AI stays underneath human management with the correct sorts of security requirements.”

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