Microsoft President Brad Smith
Microsoft President Brad Smith has divulged key details about the company's plans to create a large "AI infrastructure" in the UK. Wikimedia Commons

Microsoft is gearing up to spend $3.2 billion (£2.5 billion) in a bid to create a large AI infrastructure in the UK.

In an official statement, Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith shed some light on the company's plans to create "a major AI infrastructure and skilling investment supported by a new partnership on security" in the UK.

Aside from this, the American tech behemoth plans to support the growth and progress of AI without compromising on public security. The company's goal also includes helping the economy and providing jobs.

In line with this, UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak recently announced GBP29.5 billion of private funding for new UK projects that would create 12,000 jobs in various sectors including tech, life sciences, renewables, housing and infrastructure.

The Redmond-based tech firm said it will collaborate with the UK government and university researchers to achieve all this. A more formal version of this statement has been shared on the Gov.UK website.

According to Smith, Microsoft will be spending $3.2 billion (£2.5 billion) over the next three years as part of this investment. Also, he revealed the "three key areas" this investment encompasses.

  • Microsoft will invest in the UK's AI infrastructure
  • Microsoft will invest in AI talent and education programs
  • Microsoft will invest in AI safety and security measures

Investment in the UK's AI infrastructure

This investment will see London, Cardiff and potentially northern England-based sites focusing on growing the AI infrastructure. The program comprises "prioritised access to GPUs for the UK's science and research community".

Moreover, researchers from "universities including Cambridge, Oxford, Imperial College, UCL, Bath, and Nottingham" will be participating in this program.

Investment in AI talent and education programs

As part of the plan, Microsoft will train 1 million people in collaboration with non-profit groups on topics like how to work with AI, start a career in AI and how to build upon AI. However, the company will not deviate its focus from "Responsible Generative AI" training.

Investment in AI safety and security measures

Microsoft will ensure things are safe and secure by teaming up with both the UK government and the AI Safety Institute. It is also worth noting that the UK recently became the first country to sign an Online Fraud Charter with eleven tech companies.

AI is expected to radically overhaul nearly every aspect of tech, entertainment, the workforce and other areas in the coming years.

So, it is imperative for big tech companies like Microsoft to spearhead the growth of this newfangled technology and ensure it is developed responsibly. This will allow people to take advantage of it rather than being terrified of it.