Microsoft Invests Billions to Make Sweden an AI Powerhouse

Written by Camilla Jessen

Jun.03 - 2024 10:54 AM CET

Microsoft is investing billions to train Swedes in generative AI.

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Microsoft is gearing up to invest $3.2 billion (approximately 34 billion SEK) in Sweden over the next two years, aiming to transform the country into a leading AI nation.

According to Dagens Nyheter, this investment will see the tech giant training 250,000 Swedes in the use of generative AI and expanding its data center capacities.

Major Training Initiative

Microsoft's plan includes the training of a quarter of a million Swedes in generative AI technologies over the next three years.

"We believe that Sweden has the potential to become a leading AI nation," said Sophia Wikander, Microsoft's Swedish manager.

The training programs will cover tools such as ChatGPT from OpenAI and the recently launched Copilot service, which integrates AI technology into Microsoft’s software suite. The courses will also provide broader competence beyond just Microsoft products.

Part of the investment will be directed towards expanding the capacity of Microsoft’s data centers located in Gävle, Sandviken, and Staffanstorp. This expansion will include the installation of over 20,000 advanced graphics processors to support AI calculations, boosting the country’s capability to run both cloud services and AI programs locally.

"It is about creating capacity for Sweden by building an IT infrastructure to meet the accelerating need from Swedish companies and the public sector," Wikander explained.

Strategic Importance

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson welcomed the investment, stressing its importance both as an economic boost and as a signal of Sweden's attractiveness for large-scale technological investments.

"AI is a technological transformation that we should see as an enhancement, a catalyst for many other things," Kristersson noted.

While expanding its operations, Microsoft is also aware of the increased energy consumption that comes with additional data center capacity. The company has committed to becoming a CO2-negative business by 2030, despite the AI investments leading to a 30 percent increase in emissions last year.

"We continuously monitor our emissions and globally increase the use of clean energy and buy more renewable energy to meet our sustainability goals," Wikander assured.

The investment is seen as a way to rejuvenate Sweden’s competitiveness in the global tech landscape, accordig to Wikander. The initiative will involve collaboration with technical and vocational training institutions, providing tailored training for employees of Swedish companies.

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