Microsoft announces new AI hub in London

Tech giant Microsoft will open a new AI hub called Microsoft AI London, and plans to ‘make a significant, long-term investment in the region.’

Andrew Wooden

April 8, 2024

2 Min Read

The announcement was made via a blog post authored by Mustafa Suleyman, EVP and CEO of Microsoft AI – a new division focused on ‘advancing Copilot’ and other consumer AI products and research at the company.

Microsoft AI London will be focussed on developing language models and their supporting infrastructure, tooling for foundation models, and work with AI teams across the broader Microsoft mothership and partners such as OpenAI.

It will be led by Jordan Hoffmann, which the post describes as an ‘AI pioneer’ who previously worked at Inflection and DeepMind. He and the rest of the team will be based out of Microsoft’s London Paddington office. Microsoft AI will make a ‘significant, long-term investment in the region’ and look to hire ‘the best AI scientists and engineers.’

“In the coming weeks and months, we will be posting job openings and actively hiring exceptional individuals who want to work on the most interesting and challenging AI questions of our time,” says Suleyman. “We’re looking for new team members who are driven by impact at scale, and who are passionate innovators eager to contribute to a team culture where continuous learning is the norm.   

“This is great news for Microsoft AI and for the UK. As a British citizen, born and raised in London, I’m proud to have co-founded and built a cutting-edge AI business here. I’m deeply aware of the extraordinary talent pool and AI ecosystem in the U.K., and I’m excited to make this commitment to the UK on behalf of Microsoft AI. I know – through my close work with thought leaders in the UK government, business community and academia – that the country is committed to advancing AI responsibly and with a safety-first commitment to drive investment, innovation and economic growth. Our decision to open this hub in the UK reflects this ambition.” 

The blog also points to how busy it is generally in the UK, with its existing Microsoft Research Cambridge lab, in which AI, cloud and productivity research bubbles away, and that it recently announced a £2.5 billion investment ‘to upskill the UK workforce for the AI era and to build the infrastructure to power the AI economy, including our commitment to bring 20,000 of the most advanced GPUs to the country by 2026.’

Last week, Microsoft was among the leading lights of the AI boom to launch The AI-Enabled ICT Workforce Consortium in the pursuit of ‘evaluating how AI is changing the jobs and skills workers need to be successful.’ The Consortium will evaluate the impact of AI on 56 ICT job roles and provide training recommendations, we’re told.

Meanwhile the US and UK governments recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to jointly develop some tests for AI models, and collaborate in general on unearthing AI safety risks. What this practically means is some information sharing about the capabilities and risks associated with AI models and systems, allowing researchers to ‘coalesce around a common scientific foundation.’

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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