Microsoft committed to invest £2.5 billion in the UK over the next three years to expand its AI data centre footprint, a boost to the country’s ambitions to become a leader in growing and developing the technology.
The UK government stated Microsoft would more than double its current data centre footprint in addition to training more than 1 million people for the AI economy.
Microsoft aims to bring more than 20,000 of the most advanced GPUs crucial for machine learning and development of AI models to the UK by 2026.
Furthermore, the technology giant will support the UK’s growing safety and research efforts, through partnerships with the government and leading universities.
News of the investment comes after the UK government hosted an AI Safety Summit at the start of this month, during which it struck an agreement with 27 other nations and the European Union to establish a shared understanding of the risks posed by frontier AI.
“The UK started the global conversation on AI earlier this month and Microsoft’s historic investment is further evidence of the leading role we continue to play in expanding the frontiers of AI to harness it’s economic and scientific benefits.RISHI SUNAK UK PRIME MINISTER
The £2.5 billion will be the single largest investment into the UK in Microsoft’s 40-year history and will involve the company growing its AI infrastructure across sites in London and Cardiff, along with potential expansion into Northern England.
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak described Microsoft as one of the founding fathers of modern technology, dubbing the announcement as “a turning point for the future of AI infrastructure and development in the UK”.