Tech giant Microsoft has announced plans for a London AI hub.

Microsoft AI London will drive pioneering work to advance state-of-the-art language models and involve collaborating closely with Microsoft’s partners, including OpenAI. 

The new hub will be based in the company’s London Paddington office and will be led by AI scientist and engineer Jordan Hoffmann, who previously worked at DeepMind.

The London hub adds to Microsoft’s existing presence in the UK, including the Microsoft Research Cambridge lab.

It follows Microsoft’s recently announced £2.5bn investment to upskill the UK workforce for the AI era and to build the infrastructure to power the AI economy.

Mustafa Suleyman, CEO of Microsoft AI, said: “As a British citizen, born and raised in London, I’m proud to have co-founded and built a cutting-edge AI business here.

“I’m deeply aware of the extraordinary talent pool and AI ecosystem in the UK, and I’m excited to make this commitment to the UK on behalf of Microsoft AI.

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“I know – through my close work with thought leaders in the UK government, business community and academia – that the country is committed to advancing AI responsibly and with a safety-first commitment to drive investment, innovation and economic growth.

“Our decision to open this hub in the UK reflects this ambition.”

The announcement has been welcomed by Ashley Ramrachia, CEO and co-founder of Academy, a major tech upskilling business that works with businesses including Ocado and Aldermore Bank.

He said: “The news that Microsoft is opening a new AI hub in London, led by CEO of Microsoft AI, Mustafa Suleyman, shows more than ever that the UK is a leader in AI talent and skills and more firms are likely to base themselves in the UK.

“We’ve seen from Suleyman’s recent move from DeepMind to Microsoft that the winners in AI will be the ones that can attract the best talent and the fastest.

“Ultimately the AI race between businesses and nations will be won with the most talented workers and it’s clear that this was a big motivation for Microsoft opening its new London AI office.

“The UK has an excellent chance to position itself as the centre of AI based skills and talent, and as more businesses move to open here creating more jobs, the country will be in an excellent position to be a global superpower in AI.

“Firms across London and the UK should seek to train and upskill its workers in order to leverage the talent they already have, to ensure London remains competitive internationally in attracting and keeping the best talent.”

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