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Microsoft to invest $1.7 billion in AI and cloud development in Indonesia

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Microsoft has new plans to significantly boost artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud development in Indonesia. During a visit to the country this week, CEO Satya Nadella met with President Joko Widodo and pledged $1.7 billion in investment over the next four years.

Nadella said (via CNBC) that this is the largest single investment in Microsoft's 29-year history in Indonesia. The funding will be used to build new cloud computing data centers and AI infrastructure across the country. The data centers will bring advanced AI technologies directly to the country.

In addition to major investments, Microsoft will also focus on workforce training. Nadella announced a plan to provide AI education to hundreds of thousands of Indonesians through training programs. Specifically, the company aims to train more than 2.5 million people across Southeast Asia by 2025, including 840,000 from Indonesia. This will help develop a skilled local talent pool that can design, build, and support AI systems.

In a statement, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said:

The thing I am really excited to announce today is the expanded announcement of data centre investment, so $1.7 billion to bring the latest and greatest AI infrastructure to Indonesia.

We are going to lead this wave in terms of the next generation of AI infrastructure that's needed. Our mission ultimately is to empower every person and every organisation in Indonesia to take advantage of this next big AI wave.

Dharma Simorangkir, president director of Microsoft Indonesia, also said the $1.7 billion investment "sets a new milestone for Indonesia's digital landscape." He stated that it will enable Microsoft to meet the growing demand for cloud computing services in the country.

Microsoft's embrace of AI has boosted sales of its key Azure cloud services, which are now the core of its business. In the most recent quarter, Microsoft saw revenue growth of 17 percent and net income growth of 20 percent.

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