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Microsoft’s Massive AI Investment in Southeast Asia

Microsoft, a leading company in the field of artificial intelligence, has announced significant plans for expansion in Southeast Asia. As part of its initiative, the tech giant aims to train 2.5 million individuals across five countries in the region—Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, and the Philippines.

These efforts are a part of Microsoft’s broader strategy to foster AI skills in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), reinforcing its position at the forefront of AI technology development. This move comes after the company’s numerous successful endeavors, including its advanced chatbots and multi-billion dollar investments in OpenAI.

The focus will be on cyber security, and it will be aimed to increase the artificial intelligence skills of developers

Microsoft's Massive AI Investment in Southeast Asia

Microsoft has announced its “ASEAN Digital Plan” as part of its strategy to expand artificial intelligence skills across Southeast Asia. Under this initiative, dubbed “Ready for Artificial Intelligence,” the company plans to train a total of 2.5 million people in five countries. Although the financial specifics of the investment remain undisclosed, a statement to ZDNet highlighted key areas of focus. The project will address crucial issues such as cybersecurity deficiencies and enhancing the AI capabilities of developers.

For instance, the Ready4AISecurity program aims to train 15,000 youths in Indonesia and Malaysia, with a special emphasis on creating opportunities for women. Participants will gain access to Microsoft’s training resources and certification programs. Additionally, the company is looking to bolster its partnership with the United Nations to provide 570,000 young people from underserved communities with AI training, aiming to improve employment prospects.

Microsoft also projects that AI could contribute $1 trillion to Southeast Asia’s GDP by 2030, with Thailand potentially seeing a $117 billion boost. In line with these efforts, Microsoft plans to establish a data center in Thailand to enhance the region’s cloud and AI infrastructure and extend AI training to over 100,000 people.

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