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Microsoft’s $3.2 bln UK investment to drive AI growth

Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Satya Narayana Nadella speaks at a live Microsoft event in the Manhattan borough of New York City, October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo
Microsoft Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Satya Narayana Nadella speaks at a live Microsoft event in the Manhattan borough of New York City, October 26, 2016. REUTERS/Lucas Jackson/File Photo

The United Kingdom’s government has stated that Microsoft’s (MSFT.O) intention to invest 2.5 billion pounds ($3.2 billion) in Britain over the following three years would lay the groundwork for future growth in artificial intelligence (AI). This is the company’s single most significant investment in the country.

In the United Kingdom, where it is anticipated that the economy will be slow in the years to come, there is a drive for private investment to assist in funding new infrastructure, particularly in industries that are seeing development, such as artificial intelligence.

Microsoft’s data center footprint in Britain will more than quadruple due to the money initially disclosed during a conference that Prime Minister Rishi Sunak held on Monday. This funding will provide the infrastructure that is essential for the operation of new artificial intelligence models.

“Today’s announcement is a turning point for the future of artificial intelligence infrastructure and development in the UK,” Sunak said in a statement released on Thursday with the announcement.

Despite statements made by Microsoft’s president Brad Smith in April, which stated that a judgment made by the country’s antitrust authority that went against American business placed the faith of the technology industry in Britain in jeopardy, Microsoft has decided to move forward with their plan.

Since then, the United Kingdom’s regulatory body has approved a revised version of Microsoft’s acquisition of Activision Blizzard, which costs $69 billion. This decision has repositioned Britain in favor of Microsoft.

Smith made the declaration in the statement published when he was hosting Jeremy Hunt, the finance minister, at a data center currently being developed in north London. “Microsoft is committed as a company to ensuring that the United Kingdom as a country has world-leading artificial intelligence infrastructure,” Smith added.

According to a statement released by the government, Microsoft will deliver more than 20,000 of the most cutting-edge graphics processing units to the United Kingdom as part of the agreement that was announced on Thursday. This technology is essential for the development of artificial intelligence and machine learning.

The investment includes a training strategy to ensure that people in the United Kingdom have the skills necessary to construct and operate with artificial intelligence.

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