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Microsoft commits €4 billion to French AI infrastructure and training

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France has made developing AI a top priority in recent years. Now, major commitments from Microsoft and Amazon will help accelerate these efforts.

Microsoft plans to invest €4 billion to build new cloud and AI infrastructure across France. This includes a new data center near the city of Mulhouse to support its services. Existing facilities near Paris and Marseille will also be expanded.

With more than 25,000 GPUs, these data centers will have the powerful computing power needed to develop advanced AI. Microsoft is committed to powering the centers entirely with renewable energy such as solar and wind.

In addition to infrastructure, Microsoft is committed to training nearly one million French people in AI skills through new education programs by 2027. It will partner with universities and training groups. The company also promises to support more than 2,500 French startups during that time.

Microsoft President Brad Smith said the investment will be one of the company's investments in AI. It aims to develop France as a global hub for AI and cloud computing.

Meanwhile, Amazon announced that it will invest €1.2 billion to develop French infrastructure and technology. It will expand Amazon Web Services' cloud and AI capabilities. The funds will also expand Amazon's parcel delivery network across the country.

In February, Microsoft announced a multi-year partnership with France-based Mistral AI. Under the partnership, Azure AI Studio customers gained access to Mistral Large. The company will also invest $3.44 billion in Germany over the next two years, mostly in AI. The plan is to support local startups and get involved in their projects.

On the other hand, Microsoft has new plans to significantly boost AI and cloud development in Southeast Asian countries. The company has also pledged to invest $2.2 billion in Malaysia and $1.7 billion in Indonesia over the next four years. It also announced plans to build a new data center in Thailand. It will be the first in the country with hopes of upskilling 100K people.

Sources: The Local and Reuters

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