Microsoft to invest US$2.9 billion in AI and cloud infrastructure in Japan while boosting the country’s skills, research and cybersecurity

Pictured left to right: Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan; Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President, Microsoft; Suzanne P. Clark, President and CEO, US Chamber of Commerce; Rahm Emanuel, US Ambassador to Japan; Miki Sosaka, President, Microsoft Japan.
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Washington DC, April 9 ET, 2024 – Today, Microsoft announced that it will invest US$2.9 billion over the next two years to expand its hyperscale cloud computing and AI infrastructure in Japan. It will also expand its digital skills programs with a goal of providing AI skills to more than 3 million people over the next three years, open its first Microsoft Research Asia Lab in Japan, and collaborate with the Japanese government on its cybersecurity. will deepen cooperation.

These investments aim to support Japan’s key pillar of deflation and stimulate the economy by enhancing the infrastructure, skilled talent, and security needed to support Japan’s digital transformation and AI adoption. The announcement coincides with Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida’s official visit to the United States, where he was joined by Microsoft Vice Chair and President Brad Smith, and Microsoft Japan President Miki Tsusaka.

Expanding Japan’s AI and Cloud Infrastructure Capability

The US$2.9 billion commitment is Microsoft’s single largest investment in its 46-year history in Japan, which is also the location of its first international office. This effectively doubles the company’s current financial commitment to expand its AI and cloud infrastructure across Japan.

This significant increase in digital capacity will enable Microsoft to provide more advanced computing resources in Japan, including the latest graphics processing units (GPUs), which are critical for accelerating AI workloads. It builds on Microsoft support. Generative AI Accelerator Challenge (GNIAC)a program led by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry that helps innovative startups and established enterprises develop foundation models as the core technology of creative AI in Japan.

Boosting Japan’s AI capacity by training 3 million people

Microsoft will also invest in training 3 million full-time and part-time workers across Japan over the next three years, giving them the skills they need to create and work with AI technologies. These investments will be delivered through programs that focus on helping organizations and society, including women in general, and will also focus on developers and students.

Microsoft will expand its code. Providing a seamless program for Japan and dedicated training for women looking to participate in AI-powered work. It will also provide free and widely accessible content on AI, cybersecurity, and digital skills in partnership with the United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR).

Nurturing advanced AI professionals who can drive further AI integration, Microsoft will offer courses and reference architectures for AI developers and technology companies in Japan. These will be augmented by Microsoft’s AI coding assistant, GitHub Copilot. The company will also support startups with resources through the Microsoft for Startups Founders Hub and help implement AI-centric programs in vocational high schools.

To advance the social benefits offered by AI by companies of all sizes, governments and public institutions, including the Tokyo Metropolitan Government, Microsoft will continue programs that support the widespread adoption and use of AI tools. . Additionally, Microsoft provides Support customers in developing internal AI policies to ensure its responsible and safe use, including data management and security.

Opening of Japan’s first Microsoft Research Asia Lab in Tokyo

Microsoft Research Asia is expanding its research leadership in the Asia-Pacific region with the opening of a lab in Tokyo.

The new lab will have a unique focus on areas including embodied AI and robotics, social AI and well-being, and scientific discovery in line with Japan’s socio-economic priorities. Its establishment reflects Microsoft’s long-term commitment to Japan and its belief in the nation’s ability to lead the world in innovation.

Microsoft Research is a division of Microsoft that advances bold ideas and technological breakthroughs in AI, building on a legacy of fundamental advances in computer science. As its primary research arm in the Asia-Pacific region, Microsoft Research Asia has collaborated with Japanese academia for more than two decades, contributing to advancing interdisciplinary research and nurturing talent.

To promote better research collaboration, Microsoft will provide US$10 million in resource grants over the next five years to a partnership on artificial intelligence research between the University of Tokyo and Keio University and Carnegie Mellon University.

Partnership to Strengthen Japan’s Cyber ​​Security Defenses

Microsoft will collaborate with the Cabinet Secretariat of Japan to strengthen cybersecurity resilience for government, business and society, as the nation expands its cybersecurity approach under the government. The latest national security strategy.

The collaboration will build on the services that Microsoft provides to protect thousands of Japanese organizations every day. It will partner with Microsoft to provide its expertise and advanced cloud and AI-powered security services in areas such as information sharing, talent development, and technology solutions as part of a joint effort to address cyber security threats. Will focus.

Leadership Statements

Fumio Kishida, Prime Minister of Japan

“As economic activity in the digital space grows, it is important for the Japanese industry as a whole to work with global companies like Microsoft that are equipped with a set of digital infrastructures. We look forward to Microsoft’s new investment in Japan.” We welcome the announcement. Microsoft has made significant contributions to the social implementation of creative AI in Japan through various initiatives, and we look forward to further cooperation. We look forward to deepening our cooperation in the field of cybersecurity.

Brad Smith, Vice Chair and President, Microsoft

“Today’s announcement represents Microsoft’s most significant investment in Japan since we established roots here in 1978. These investments in digital infrastructure, AI skills, cybersecurity, and AI research will build a strong AI economy for Japan. are the necessary ingredients for the construction of

Ken Saito, Minister of Economy, Trade and Industry

“As digital investment continues to grow around the world, we welcome Microsoft’s announcement of new investment in Japan and look forward to its future contributions to promoting Japan’s digital industries, including AI. The Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry will continue to work with Microsoft, a global leader in the digital arena, to create both innovation and discipline.

Takuya Hirai, Chairperson, Headquarters for Promotion of Digital Society, Policy Research Council, Member of the House of Representatives

Adopting digital tools is essential to meet the social challenges of Japan’s growing population and to achieve economic growth and regional revitalization. Microsoft’s investment plays an important role in advancing Japan’s AI capabilities, particularly in infrastructure and talent development. I wholeheartedly welcome this initiative and look forward to the leadership role that Microsoft can play in promoting collaboration between Japan and the US, as well as between the public and private sectors.

Miki Sosaka, President, Microsoft Japan

“We are proud to contribute to Japan and its future with the largest investment, technology and knowledge to date. Together with our partners, Microsoft Japan is committed to solving social problems and achieving more in Japan.” is fully committed to supporting the people and organizations of

Yuriko Koike, Tokyo Metropolitan Governor

“The Tokyo Metropolitan Government and Microsoft partnered last year to empower Japan’s workforce with digital skills. programs to deliver, is an important step to lead Japan into the era of digitalization.The Tokyo Metropolitan Government has used generative AI to make our offices more efficient and improve the quality of services provided to our citizens. We will continue to embrace cutting-edge technology and advance Japan’s digital transformation with unwavering dedication.

Chisa Mikami, Head of Hiroshima Office, UNITAR

“Through the collaboration between UNITAR and Microsoft, we will strive to democratize access to AI education, ensuring that knowledge is freely available to all. Together, we will create innovative AI professionals. paving the way for individuals, fostering innovation in startups, and promoting responsible AI practices across industries and sectors. Together, we can harness the transformative power of AI for the betterment of society. Bring the car.”

Kevin Scott, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President of AI, Microsoft

“The impact that AI is poised to create in the coming years has the potential to create unprecedented social benefit for the entire world. The steps we are taking today to empower Japanese citizens through AI technologies. Program – Whether Job training and skills, infrastructure capacity improvements, or new research Investment – will. Overall help accelerate this process of beneficial innovation. We are particularly excited to further expand Microsoft Research’s global footprint in Japan, and to contribute to and leverage the local diversity of thought and talent while enhancing the capacity of our global research efforts.”

Teruo Fujii, President, University of Tokyo

“The University of Tokyo is committed to contributing to the creation of a better society through research and education focused on advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence. To promote innovation while maximizing the benefits of these technologies and minimizing the risks.” , it’s important that they collaborate with partners who share our goals. With the establishment of Microsoft Research Asia’s new lab in Tokyo, we take an exciting new step in our more than two-decade partnership with Microsoft. entering. We look forward to working together to further advance our research community and develop outstanding human resources as we continue our journey together.”

Tags: AI, Japan

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