Microsoft to amplify UK AI infrastructure with multibillion investment and skilling initiative
Microsoft has announced a groundbreaking AI infrastructure and skilling investment in the UK, marking a new era in artificial intelligence (AI) development and safety. This move promises job creation, improved services, and enhanced public security.
Massive Datacenter Expansion and AI Infrastructure Boost
Microsoft’s commitment includes a significant expansion of its datacenter footprint in the UK, with more than £2.5 billion ($3.2 billion) allocated over the next three years. This investment will bring over 20,000 advanced GPUs to the UK by 2026, marking the company’s single largest investment in its 40-year history in the country. The expansion will span London, Cardiff, and potentially northern England, aiming to meet rising demand for AI-specific compute power in both the private and public sectors.
Enhancing AI Research and Safety
To support AI research, Microsoft is extending its Accelerating Foundation Models Research (AFMR) program to the UK. This initiative will offer prioritized access to GPUs for the UK’s science and research community, involving leading universities like Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College, UCL, Bath, and Nottingham. The focus will be on harnessing AI for scientific discovery through multiscale multimodal data generation.
Skilling One Million People in the AI Economy
Microsoft’s multi-million-pound investment aims to train one million people with essential AI skills. Partnering with learning and non-profit organizations, the program will focus on AI fluency, technical skills, business transformation, and promoting safe AI development. It includes the first Professional Certificate on Generative AI and responsible AI training for developers.
Commitment to Responsible AI Development
All Microsoft technical trainers will complete the “Responsible Generative AI” training, ensuring adherence to ethics and responsible AI development principles. This approach extends to Microsoft’s AI developer ecosystem, embedding safety and security in AI systems and processes.
Investment in AI Safety and Security
Microsoft’s investment also includes robust AI safety and security measures, covering its infrastructure and supporting AI developers and customers. Collaborating with the UK Government and AI Safety Institute, Microsoft will operate its AI services in line with responsible AI practices and integrate these principles into its Partner Pledge for its 25,000 UK partners.