Microsoft Establishes AI Research Hub in London, Plans Significant Investment

Microsoft is opening a new office in London focused on artificial intelligence (AI) research and development.

Mustafa Suleyman, the AI chief at the tech giant, announced that the company will soon begin recruiting “exceptional individuals” for various roles in AI.

However, specific details regarding the number of positions to be created were not disclosed.

Microsoft, a significant investor in OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, also opened an office in London in 2023.

In a blog post, Mr. Suleyman emphasised the UK’s wealth of AI talent and expertise, stating, “Microsoft AI plans to make a significant, long-term investment in the region as we begin hiring the best AI scientists and engineers into this new AI hub.”

Mr. Suleyman, who co-founded the UK-based AI research lab DeepMind, which was later acquired by Google, launched his own AI startup, Inflection AI, in 2022 before joining Microsoft in March.

Jordan Hoffmann, an AI engineer with experience at DeepMind and Inflection, will lead the efforts at the new London office.

Mr. Suleyman highlighted that Microsoft AI London will focus on advancing state-of-the-art language models and their supporting infrastructure.

He commended the UK’s “safety-first” approach to AI, noting a recent collaboration agreement between the UK and the US on testing advanced AI models.

Viscount Camrose, the minister for AI, hailed the establishment of the London hub as a testament to the UK’s leadership in AI innovation, citing the thriving AI sector in the country, which employs over 50,000 people and contributes £3.7 billion to the economy.

Mr. Suleyman emphasised Microsoft AI’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of AI possibilities and extending its benefits across the UK.

Microsoft’s initial $1 billion investment in OpenAI has evolved into a “multi-year, multi-billion” partnership, reaffirmed at the beginning of 2023.

Despite recent leadership turmoil at OpenAI, Microsoft remains committed to supporting the firm, which has contributed to Microsoft becoming the world’s most valuable listed company, with a market value exceeding $3 trillion.

The establishment of Microsoft AI’s new hub in London signifies a significant endorsement of the capital’s thriving tech ecosystem, according to Russ Shaw, founder of Tech London Advocates.

He sees it as a vote of confidence in the UK’s tech prowess and emphasises the importance of maintaining the country’s leadership in AI research and innovations.

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