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Microsoft to take a position £2.5bn in doubling AI datacentre capability in UK | Pc Weekly Specific Occasions

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Microsoft is to take a position £2.5bn over the subsequent three years within the UK to greater than double the scale of the datacentre footprint underpinning its synthetic intelligence (AI) capabilities.

It has additionally dedicated to coaching a couple of million UK residents in utilizing AI applied sciences, and has pledged to associate with the federal government and UK universities to analysis AI security measures.

“Microsoft will spend £2.5bn over the subsequent three years to develop its next-generation AI datacentre infrastructure, bringing greater than 20,000 of essentially the most superior graphics processing items [GPUs] – that are essential for machine studying and the event of AI fashions – to the UK by 2026,” stated a authorities assertion concerning the funding.

The software program large additional claims the £2.5bn constitutes the biggest funding it has made within the UK in its 40-year historical past, and can enable the corporate to develop its AI infrastructure inside its current datacentre places of London and Cardiff. The corporate stated it’s also exploring a possible growth of its datacentre footprint into Northern England.

The funding has received the help of UK prime minister Rishi Sunak, who talked up the essential function this funding will play within the UK’s bid to turn out to be an AI superpower.

“Microsoft [is] one of many founding fathers of recent know-how and right this moment’s announcement is a turning level for the way forward for AI infrastructure and growth within the UK,” stated Sunak.

“The UK began the worldwide dialog on AI [at the UK government’s AI Safety Summit], and Microsoft’s historic funding is additional proof of the main function we proceed to play in increasing the frontiers of AI to harness its financial and scientific advantages.”  

The chancellor Jeremy Hunt stated the funding comes scorching on the heels of the £500m dedication to constructing out the UK’s compute capabilities he introduced in November’s Autumn Assertion.

“The UK is the tech hub of Europe with an ecosystem value greater than that of Germany and France mixed – and this funding is one other vote of confidence in us as a science superpower,” he stated.

“And it follows the £500m funding in compute that I dedicated to in my Autumn assertion final week, taking our funding in superior computing for AI to £1.5bn – a down cost on the job and financial development it would deliver to the UK.”

Microsoft opened its first UK datacentre area in September 2016, with the Ministry of Defence as its anchor tenant, and the transfer is credited with serving to the agency improve the amount of cash the general public sector spends with it every year.

Clare Barclay, CEO of Microsoft UK, stated the funding is a present of Microsoft’s dedication to serving to meet the rising demand for AI applied sciences within the UK.

“The tempo of change in AI calls for motion right this moment to construct a affluent future for the UK tomorrow,” she stated. “As enterprise and the general public sector embrace the AI alternative, we’re constructing the infrastructure that can help the expansion they want, coaching the individuals who can ship it responsibly and securing our society towards emergent threats.”  

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