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Microsoft to Invest $2.9 Billion for AI Projects in Japan


Microsoft will invest $2.9 billion for artificial intelligence projects in Japan.

The investment will go toward expanding Microsoft’s cloud and AI infrastructure in the country, training 3 million people in AI and setting up a Microsoft Research Asia lab in Tokyo, Microsoft said in a press release.

This will be the biggest investment Microsoft has made in Japan, Nikkei reported Tuesday, citing an interview with Microsoft President Brad Smith.

Microsoft’s infrastructure expansion will include adding advanced AI semiconductors at two existing sites in Japan, the report said. The company’s new lab in Tokyo will focus on research and development on robotics and AI, enabling the country to “build on its technological strengths in many other areas,” Smith said, per the report.

In addition, Microsoft and the Japanese government will collaborate on strengthening cybersecurity resilience, the report said.

The news comes a day after Microsoft said that its new AI-focused organization, Microsoft AI, will open a new AI hub in London.

The Microsoft AI London hub will work with teams across Microsoft and its partners, including OpenAI, to create language models, their supporting infrastructure and tooling for foundation models, Mustafa Suleyman, executive vice president and CEO of Microsoft AI, said when announcing the company’s plans.

The new hub joins Microsoft’s existing presence in the United Kingdom, which includes the Microsoft Research Cambridge lab and an investment of 2.5 billion pounds (about $3.2 billion) to train the U.K. workforce for the AI era and build AI infrastructure.

It was reported Sunday (April 7) that Microsoft is seen as perhaps the biggest beneficiary of spending on AI, due to its close ties with OpenAI, with the technology helping drive the company’s market capitalization to over $3 trillion.

The last month has seen an acceleration of adoption for generative AI and Microsoft’s Copilot activity, which has helped deals for the company’s Azure cloud platform that benefits from increased spending on AI.

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