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  • Microsoft to invest $2.9bn in Japan data centers amid AI boom

Microsoft to invest $2.9bn in Japan data centers amid AI boom

Also: OpenAI and Meta ready new AI models capable of ‘reasoning’


Microsoft's significant $2.9 billion investment in Japanese data centers by 2025 emphasizes the increasing demand for AI capabilities and data sovereignty, reflecting global trends towards localized data processing for security and privacy. Meanwhile, major Japanese corporations Softbank and Tokio Marine Holdings highlight the urgent need for regulations to manage AI's societal risks, including job displacement and privacy issues. South Korea's commitment of nearly $7 billion towards AI and semiconductor technology underlines the strategic importance of AI in strengthening its economic and technological leadership globally. In the realm of AI development, tech giants OpenAI and Meta are progressing towards models with advanced reasoning, symbolizing a major leap towards human-like cognitive abilities in AI. Google's introduction of new AI tools in its Workspace suite aims to revolutionize productivity and communication, enhancing user experience through AI-driven features. Lastly, the venture capital scene is vibrant with StrikeReady securing $12 million to innovate cybersecurity through AI-powered solutions, indicating a robust interest in integrating AI into security and operations.


  • 🇯🇵 Microsoft to invest $2.9bn in Japan data centers amid AI boom

  • 🤯 ‘Social Order Could Collapse’ in AI Era, Two Top Japan Companies Say

  • 🇰🇷 South Korea to invest $7 billion in AI by 2027

  • 🤖 OpenAI and Meta ready new AI models capable of ‘reasoning’

Microsoft is set to invest $2.9 billion in data centers in Japan by 2025, marking its largest investment in the country to date, as Tokyo seeks to boost its AI capabilities. This decision is driven by a broader global push towards 'data sovereignty,' where governments prefer domestic storage and processing of data to address security and privacy concerns. In addition to enhancing its data center infrastructure in Japan, Microsoft plans to install advanced AI semiconductors and launch an AI reskilling initiative aimed at training 3 million workers in Japan over the next three years. The company will also establish a new research lab in Tokyo to focus on robotics and AI, contributing 1.5 billion yen to support research partnerships with local universities.

In a joint statement, two of Japan's largest companies, Softbank and Tokio Marine Holdings, have issued a stark warning about the potential risks posed by artificial intelligence (AI) to society. The companies assert that the rapid advancement of AI technology could lead to a collapse of the existing social order if left unchecked. They emphasize the need for proactive measures to address the challenges AI presents, such as job displacement, privacy concerns, and the potential for misuse by malicious actors. The statement underscores the importance of collaboration between the public and private sectors to develop effective regulations and ethical guidelines that ensure the responsible development and deployment of AI technologies while mitigating their potential negative impacts on society.

South Korea plans to invest nearly $7 billion in AI and AI semiconductor fields by 2027 to secure a leading global position in advanced semiconductor chips, essential to the country's export-driven economy. This initiative was announced by President Yoon Suk Yeol, highlighting the critical role of AI in the future of the semiconductor industry. In addition to the primary investment, a separate fund of approximately $1 billion will support the growth of innovative AI semiconductor companies. The strategy aims to position South Korea as a dominant player in the AI chip market, amidst rising international competition and growing demand for advanced AI-powered technologies. This move is part of a broader effort to strengthen domestic chip production and reduce geopolitical risks, especially given the uncertainties in regions like Taiwan and the larger dynamics of US-China rivalry.

OpenAI and Meta are advancing their AI models to enhance reasoning and planning capabilities, which are pivotal steps towards achieving machine intelligence on par with human cognition. Meta is set to launch Llama 3, while OpenAI's forthcoming model, likely dubbed GPT-5, aims to significantly improve in reasoning and handling complex tasks. These advancements are part of a broader industry trend where tech giants like Google, Anthropic, and Cohere are also unveiling sophisticated generative AI models. The enhanced reasoning ability in AI is intended to enable the completion of complex sequences of tasks and predict outcomes more effectively. For instance, Meta's upcoming AI model, embedded in applications like WhatsApp and Ray-Ban smart glasses, will perform tasks ranging from troubleshooting to travel planning, indicating a shift towards more autonomous, intelligent systems.

🛠️ AI tools updates

Google has introduced a suite of new AI tools for its Workspace platform, aiming to enhance productivity and creativity in the workplace. One of the notable updates is the enhanced "Help me write" feature, now activated by voice commands, assisting users in generating text with AI. Gmail users will benefit from the "Polish draft" feature, which refines the text of email drafts. Google Sheets will now alert users to changes in cells, and new templates promise to eliminate the need to start from scratch. Google Docs introduces tabs to streamline work across multiple documents, and Google Chat incorporates AI to summarize messages and provide chat translations, supporting larger group interactions. Additionally, Google Meet is set to offer real-time translation in multiple languages and automated note-taking as a premium service.

💵 Venture Capital updates

StrikeReady, a startup from Silicon Valley, recently raised $12 million in a Series A funding round led by 33N Ventures, with contributions from Hitachi Ventures, Monta Vista Capital, and several top cybersecurity executives. The funding will support the development of AI-powered solutions to modernize cybersecurity command centers. Since its launch in April 2021, StrikeReady has accumulated $15.6 million in funding, signaling strong support for its mission to innovate security operations centers (SOCs) using cloud-based technologies. The company is pioneering the transition from traditional large language models (LLM) to a proprietary large action model (LAM), enabling proactive actions based on user prompts across various technology layers. StrikeReady's platform integrates AI, data, and automation to assist security teams in defending against threats and managing responses efficiently.

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