Microsoft to invest 3 billion euros into AI development in Germany

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The funding announcement was made by the company’s president and vice chairman Brad Smith on Feb. 15 at an event held in the German capital regarding its future engagement plans for artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud development in the country.

Microsoft will focus on building new data centers in the country and training people in developing AI skills. According to a report from Reuters, this is the largest investment in Germany by Microsoft in 40 years.

Europe is proving to be fertile ground for investment from major technology developers. On the same day, the French Finance Ministry released a statement revealing Google’s plans to set up a new AI-dedicated hub in France.

According to the announcement, the center will be based in Paris and house nearly 300 researchers and engineers to support the country’s AI ambitions. 

This announcement comes only a few days after Google announced its “AI Opportunity Initiative for Europe” initiative on Feb. 12. Through this scheme, Google said it will be investing 25 million euros ($26.9 million) in support of skill training for Europeans in the AI sector. 

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Google said that it is working alongside governments in the European Union, along with civil society, academics and businesses to offer AI training to local startups, with 10 million of that targeting workers who will need such skills to avoid “being left behind.”

The Italian government introduced a similar initiative in 2023, through which it said it would be putting aside millions of euros for developing the digital skills of workers who risked losing their jobs due to automation and AI. 

These investments in European AI infrastructure and skills come as members of the EU parliament prepare to set forth its landmark EU AI Act legislation. On Feb.13 regulators approved the preliminary agreement for the legislation, with the parliamentary vote scheduled for April of this year.

The EU AI Act would be one of the world’s first set of rules to monitor the development and deployment of AI, second only to China, which released its own set of rules on the technology in August 2023.

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