Microsoft and AWS Join Forces, Commit $17.9 Billion to Foster AI Technology in Japan within US Agreement

Sean Millare
Apr 11, 2024

In a groundbreaking announcement on April 10th, the United States and Japan unveiled a significant political agreement, highlighted by a pivotal Microsoft partnership with a keen focus on artificial intelligence (AI). 

This landmark deal entails Microsoft's ambitious investment of $2.9 billion in Japan over the forthcoming two years. The allocated funds are earmarked to bolster the realms of artificial intelligence, cloud computing, and data centers within the country.

One of the key pillars of this investment initiative is the commitment to train a staggering 3 million individuals through digital skills programs. Moreover, the establishment of a Microsoft Research Lab in Japan is poised to catalyze innovation in the AI landscape. Additionally, a collaborative cybersecurity effort is on the horizon, aimed at fortifying the digital defenses of both nations.

In a parallel development, Amazon Web Services (AWS) has pledged a substantial investment of $15 billion in Japan by the year 2027. This infusion of capital is primed to enhance cloud infrastructure to bolster AI capabilities and other digital services in the region. Furthermore, resource-sharing agreements have been solidified, with NVIDIA set to supply GPUs to prominent Japanese firms like Sakura Internet and Softbank. Simultaneously, tech giants Google and Microsoft will provide essential computational resources to Japanese entities engaged in AI model development.

On the research front, the US and Japan have unveiled a monumental $110 million academic collaboration initiative. This concerted effort aims to propel advancements in AI research and development. The collaboration will build upon existing partnerships in quantum computing and involve esteemed institutions such as the University of Washington, University of Tsukuba, Carnegie Mellon University, and Keio University. Noteworthy funding for these initiatives is being provided by industry heavyweights like NVIDIA, Arm, Amazon, Microsoft, and a consortium of Japanese corporations.

In a bid to address AI safety concerns, the agreement underscores the imperative of mitigating risks and minimizing harm associated with artificial intelligence. Both nations have committed to fostering transparency by labeling official government content and distinguishing materials generated or altered by AI technologies. 

Additionally, plans are in place to bolster AI Safety Institutes and collaborate on setting robust safety standards. A pivotal aspect of the agreement revolves around aligning Japan's AI Guidelines for Business with the NIST AI Risk Management Framework, paving the way for cohesive policy frameworks in the realm of AI across both nations.

Sean Millare

Sean, a skilled writer, gamer, trader, and investor, with a passion for all things web3. With a practical touch, he sheds light on the evolving crypto scene, helping readers grasp blockchain intricacies and make savvy decisions in decentralized finance.

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