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Microsoft CEO pledges $1.7 billion AI investment in Indonesia

Microsoft CEO pledges $1.7 billion AI investment in Indonesia


JAKARTA: Microsoft's CEO pledged a $1.7 billion investment in artificial intelligence and cloud computing to help develop Indonesia's AI infrastructure after a meeting with the archipelago's president on Tuesday. Indonesia is Southeast Asia's largest economy and has around 280 million people across its vast archipelago, with growing demand for data centers and AI technologies in the region. Satya Nadella spoke with President Joko Widodo, better known as Jokowi, at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta before delivering a speech on AI in the Indonesian capital.

What I'm really excited to announce today is the expanded data center investment announcement of $1.7 billion to bring the latest and greatest AI infrastructure to Indonesia , Nadella told the crowd, adding that data centers would soon be built in Indonesia. We're going to lead this wave in terms of the next generation of AI infrastructure needed, he said. Our mission is ultimately to empower every person and organization in Indonesia to benefit from this next big wave of AI.

He said the tech giant would provide AI training to hundreds of thousands of Indonesians. I am very happy to announce that at Microsoft, we will train 2.5 million people by 2025 in the ASEAN region. In fact, 840,000 here in Indonesia alone, he said. Microsoft said in a statement that the investment would span four years. Dharma Simorangkir, president and director of Microsoft Indonesia, said this sets a new milestone for Indonesia's digital landscape.

Nadella had earlier told Jokowi that the tech giant's commitment was the largest investment in its 29-year history of operations in Indonesia, Minister of Communication and Informatics Budi Arie Setiadi said. in a press release.

A Microsoft statement later confirmed that it was the company's largest investment in the country. The investment announced today will enable Microsoft to meet the growing demand for cloud computing services in Indonesia, he said. A study by international consultancy Kearney showed that AI was poised to contribute $1 trillion to Southeast Asia's GDP by 2030, with Indonesia expected to receive more than a third, according to the press release. Budi told reporters that Jakarta was pressuring Microsoft to open a research and development center in Indonesia, including in the new capital Nusantara, which is scheduled to open from August. We offered several places: Bali, IKN (Nusantara), he said.

Microsoft has been extremely rewarded by investors since it actively pushed the deployment of generative AI, starting with its $13 billion partnership with OpenAI, the creator of ChatGPT, in 2023. Nadella said last week that its sales between January and March had increased 17. percent from the previous year to $61.9 billion, with net profit up 20 percent to $21.9 billion.

AI adoption has boosted sales of Microsoft's key cloud services, such as Azure, which have become the core of its business under Nadella's leadership. Nadella's visit comes just weeks after Apple CEO Tim Cook met with Jokowi and President-elect Prabowo Subianto, as the tech giant explores ways to diversify supply chains outside of the China. Cook said Apple was looking at potentially investing in manufacturing in Indonesia. Nadella is traveling to Thailand and Malaysia this week for a regional tour to promote Microsoft's AI technology. –AFP




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