Microsoft to build $3.3bn AI centre in Wisconsin

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Microsoft plans to invest $3.3bn in a data centre for artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud computing in Racine County, Wisconsin.

The site in Mount Pleasant will employ 2,300 during construction and 2,000 when it starts operating, due in 2026.

It’s located on the same site as the abandoned Foxconn project, announced by the Trump administration as the “the eighth wonder of the world”.

Microsoft announced plans for the data centre in 2023, with additional projects including an “AI co-Innovation lab” at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.

It plans to run a course to train 100,000 people in Wisconsin by 2030 on generative AI, in cooperation with local businesses.

The company will also build a data centre academy at Gateway Technical College, which will train and certify 1,000 students across the next five years.

Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president, said: “We will use the power of AI to help advance the next generation of manufacturing companies, skills and jobs in Wisconsin and across the country.”

President Biden has issued protection for workers around AI through an executive order.

A White House statement on Microsoft’s Wisconsin plans said his administration will “assist federal contractors and employers with complying with worker protection laws as they deploy AI in the workplace”.

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