Just at the close of November 2023, Microsoft announced that they are committing to a major AI infrastructure and training investment into the UK for AI infrastructure. The investment is expected to double the Microsoft datacentre footprint in the UK and potentially provide training for more than one million people in the AI economy.
The UK, so recently after the hosting of the AI Safety Summit in the beginning of November is also looking to this investment as a flagship of responsible AI practices. Microsoft UK CEO, Clare Barclay, said: “Microsoft will extend its Accelerating Foundation Models Research (AFMR) programme to include prioritised access to GPUs for the UK’s science and research community.” As well a “As business and the public sector embrace the AI opportunity, we are building the infrastructure that will support the growth they need, training the people who can deliver it responsibly and securing our society against emergent threats”.
The investment is to increase the UK AI capacity with the investment of £2.5billion ($3.2bn US) for a next generation AI datacentre infrastructure which aims to bring 20,000 of the most advanced GPUs to the UK by 2026. There is also the broader investment in training for individuals who would be looking to start, or move into AI based career paths, including the first professional certification in generative AI.
Today’s announcement also comes as the Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt said announced a further £500 million investment in advanced computing for AI at the Autumn Statement, bringing the government’s total planned public investment in compute to more than £1.5 billion.
This future infrastructure investment is expected to target sites in London and Cardiff and potentially northern England.
If you would like to read more please see posts from the UK Government here.
Or the corresponding blog from Microsoft here.
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