Microsoft’s new £2.5bn data centres are ‘turning point’ for AI in Britain



Microsoft will invest £2.5 billion in Britain over the next three years to double its data centre capacity and provide computing power to help to drive the expansion of artificial intelligence.

The investment has been hailed by Rishi Sunak as “a turning point for the future of AI infrastructure and development in the UK”.

The American technology company plans to bring more than 20,000 advanced graphics processing units to Britain by 2026. It plans to expand sites in London and Cardiff and is looking at a “potential expansion into northern England”.

Business briefing Morning and midday updates on financial and economic news from our award-winning business team. Sign up with one click
It said the investment would help with training “more than one million people for the AI economy”, while it also pledged also to support AI safety and research efforts.

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s vice-chairman and president, said: “Microsoft is committed as a company to ensuring that the UK as a country has world-leading AI infrastructure, easy access to the skills people need and broad protections for safety and security.”

The warm words about the UK as a business destination stand in contrast to comments made earlier this year, when the competition watchdog blocked Microsoft’s $69 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard, the games developer. The veto was lifted after Microsoft came back with changes.

Smith, 64, was speaking on a visit to Microsoft’s newest and largest data centre, which is under construction in Acton, west London. It is run fully on renewable energy and, in response to concerns over data centres’ large power usage, Microsoft has invested in the local energy grid. It is also looking at how it can share energy, heat and water from its facility with the local community.

Brad Smith, the Microsoft president, left, speaks with Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, during the visit to Microsoft’s data centre construction site in Acton
Brad Smith, the Microsoft president, left, speaks with Jeremy Hunt, the chancellor, during the visit to Microsoft’s data centre construction site in Acton

The Microsoft executive also called attention to Britain’s commitment to global collaboration on AI after the inaugural Safety Summit hosted by the government at Bletchley Park at the start of November, which was attended by 27 countries, including China.

He previously has raised concerns about the threats from Chinese AI, revealing in an interview in May that Microsoft had uncovered evidence of Chinese state-sponsored espionage. Smith said at the time: “We should absolutely assume that certain nation states will use AI to launch cyberattacks.”

On Thursday, however, he responded positively to questions about whether the UK was right to invite China to the AI summit table: “I think that the world needs to have a global conversation and every country should have a shared interest in ensuring that AI remains under human control with the right kinds of safety standards.”





Source link


Like it? Share with your friends!

What's Your Reaction?

hate hate
0
hate
confused confused
0
confused
fail fail
0
fail
fun fun
0
fun
geeky geeky
0
geeky
love love
0
love
lol lol
0
lol
omg omg
0
omg
win win
0
win
Administrator

0 Comments

Your email address will not be published.

Choose A Format
Personality quiz
Series of questions that intends to reveal something about the personality
Trivia quiz
Series of questions with right and wrong answers that intends to check knowledge
Poll
Voting to make decisions or determine opinions
Story
Formatted Text with Embeds and Visuals
List
The Classic Internet Listicles
Countdown
The Classic Internet Countdowns
Open List
Submit your own item and vote up for the best submission
Ranked List
Upvote or downvote to decide the best list item
Meme
Upload your own images to make custom memes
Video
Youtube and Vimeo Embeds
Audio
Soundcloud or Mixcloud Embeds
Image
Photo or GIF
Gif
GIF format