Microsoft announces the largest investment in its history in Spain for AI infrastructure | Technology

The President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and the President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, signed a collaboration agreement today in Madrid that plans to quadruple investments in artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure and cloud in Spain during 2024 and 2025, until reaching 2,100 million dollars (about 1,950 million euros). This represents Microsoft’s largest investment in Spain in its 37 years of presence in the country.

The company has reported in a note that it plans to soon open a Data Center Cloud Region located in the Community of Madrid, and has announced its intention to build a Data Center campus in Aragon that will provide service to European companies and public entities. . These two infrastructures, says the company, “will make it possible to make the company’s entire offer of artificial intelligence solutions available to Spanish and European companies and public administrations.”

The collaboration is established within the framework of the National Artificial Intelligence Strategy and the National Cybersecurity Strategy defined by the Government of Spain, and is articulated around four lines of action. The first two have to do with the use of AI: the agreement includes the extension of the use of artificial intelligence in public administration, including the training of officials, and the promotion of the use of responsible AI, in which Microsoft will collaborate with the Spanish Agency for the Supervision of Artificial Intelligence (AESIA).

A third point of this agreement has to do with strengthening national cybersecurity and, specifically, the cyber-resilience of critical infrastructures. Microsoft and the National Cryptological Center of the National Intelligence Center (CNI-CCN) will “jointly explore,” says the agreement, the improvement of early warning and response mechanisms to computer security incidents in public administrations. And a fourth point involves improving this IT resilience in companies. “Microsoft will collaborate with the National Cybersecurity Institute (INCIBE), offering access to telemetry and global information on potential threats and cyberattacks that may affect Spanish companies and public administrations,” says the company. And, in addition, joint dissemination actions will be established in the field of cybersecurity, aimed at SMEs and citizens.

Smith explains that his company’s idea is to help Spain “because it is not too early to prepare for the year 2030. What is going to happen between now and 2030? Doctors are going to retire, people in public administration, where the average age of employees is 58, are going to retire. The economy is going to lose all this talent. How are you going to replace it? If it cannot do so, GDP growth will be under even greater pressure. But more than that, the quality of life here will be threatened.”

The executive assures that part of the solution is the use of AI: “The only way to reduce the pressure, in my opinion, is to create the jobs of the future and allow people to occupy them. And the power of AI is also very relevant in that, as it reduces the barriers to entry: it makes it easier for someone to be a cybersecurity professional and it makes it easier for someone to write software,” he says.

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