Microsoft building

Microsoft new London hub to ‘drive pioneering work’ on AI models

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is doubling down on its investment in the U.K.’s emerging
artificial intelligence (AI) space, pledging to open a new AI hub in London to spearhead the company’s work with the technology.

Barely a month since floating Microsoft AI, the Big Tech firm has confirmed the launch of a London hub designed to “drive pioneering work” on AI models. Dubbed Microsoft AI London, the hub will provide tooling for foundational models while exploring collaborations with OpenAI and other technology partners.

Led by ex-Inflection and Deepmind engineer Jordan Hoffmann, the London hub will employ several in-house AI experts to join its ranks. The bulk of team members are expected to be drawn from Microsoft’s London Paddington office, with the announcement hinting of a hiring spree in the near future.

“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,” read the announcement.

Microsoft AI, launched in mid-March, is the company’s plan to pivot toward generative AI, focused on improving Copilot and other AI offerings. The newly minted organization is expected to be the vanguard of AI innovation in Microsoft, with Mustafa Suleyman tipped to head the new organization.

The team has set about its tasks, laying the foundation for a new hub in the heart of London. The choice of the United Kingdom as a hub appears to be a no-brainer for Microsoft AI, with Suleyman pointing to a deep pool of machine learning experts in the region.

“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 U.K. on behalf of Microsoft AI,” said Suleyman.

Furthermore, the decision to establish a hub in London will allow the company to extend its reach in the U.K. The country currently hosts the Microsoft Research Cambridge Lab and is the recipient of a £2.5 billion ($2.7 billion) grant to improve the adoption of AI and other emerging technologies.

UK’s AI strategy

Aware of AI’s power to revolutionize the digital landscape, the U.K.’s government has adopted a swift approach to stay ahead of the curve, pledging a fortune in research and development.

With well over $120 million spent and a task force spearheading the advance, the U.K. is keen on ensuring global minimum standards for AI regulation. The results of the concerted efforts led to the Bletchley Declaration, in which several countries appended their signatures to the document.

“Given the importance of AI to our national security, there should also be a forum established for like-minded countries who share liberal, democratic values, to be able to develop an enhanced mutual protection against those actors—state and otherwise—who are enemies of these values,” read a House of Commons 2023 committee report.

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