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Microsoft Takes Over Abandoned Foxconn Wisconsin Site for New AI Data Center | PCMag

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  evilone  •  2 weeks ago  •  11 comments

By:   PCMAG

Microsoft Takes Over Abandoned Foxconn Wisconsin Site for New AI Data Center | PCMag
Microsoft is spending $3.3 billion to build a new data center at Foxconn's vacant site in Wisconsin, where the Taiwanese manufacturer had previously planned a display factory.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Microsoft is putting $3.3 billion toward the construction of a new AI data center in Racine, Wisconsin, on the same land where Foxconn planned to operate a display screen factory before largely abandoning it years ago.

The new data center is expected to create around 2,300 union construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs. Microsoft will also establish a "Datacenter academy" in Wisconsin to train 1,000 people in the state for STEM jobs, according to a White House press release. Microsoft will also build a "Co-Innovation Lab" in the state as part of the plans.

"Their training programs will help introduce workers to AI skills and technologies, helping them access and benefit from the AI economy," the White House says.

Microsoft President Brad Smith is expected to officially announce the plans in Wisconsin on Wednesday alongside US President Joe Biden, whose administration is emphasizing former President Donald Trump's failed Foxconn plan.

In 2018, Trump proclaimed that Foxconn's $10 billion Wisconsin factory would be "the eighth wonder of the world." The former Foxconn site was supposed to be home to a 20-million-square-foot factory for television and digital device screens before plans fell apart.

But CNBC reported that Foxconn executives were always unsure about the site's future because necessary suppliers for display manufacturing were far from Wisconsin. By 2021, Foxconn had put over $900 million toward the project, and the state of Wisconsin had spent over $200 million. That year, CNN called Trump's Foxconn project "a collection of mostly empty buildings without any high-tech products to build."

By 2022, Foxconn had hired less than 600 people, and the surrounding town was left "actively marketing an industrial park, hoping to lure large manufacturers," the Wisconsin Examiner reported. Two years later, it's attracted Microsoft, the largest company in the world with a $2.89 trillion market cap at time of writing.

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Microsoft's AI data center plans aren't surprising considering the tech giant's increasing need for more computing power to fuel its energy-intensive AI projects. While AI's impact on power grids and the climate pose a concern, Microsoft is continuing its massive AI push. This week, Microsoft CTO Kevin Scott emphasized the company's commitment to AI development, writing that the tech giant is building "big supercomputers to train AI models" and has been doing so for the past five years.

"Each supercomputer we build for OpenAI is a lot bigger than the one that preceded it, and each frontier model they train is a lot more powerful than its predecessors," Scott said. "We will continue to be on this path—building increasingly powerful supercomputer [sic] for OpenAI to train the models that will set pace for the whole field—well into the future. There's no end in sight to the increasing impact that our work together will have."


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evilone
Professor Guide
1  seeder  evilone    2 weeks ago
In 2018, Trump proclaimed that Foxconn's $10 billion Wisconsin factory would be "the eighth wonder of the world." The former Foxconn site was supposed to be home to a 20-million-square-foot factory for television and digital device screens before plans fell apart.

They were warned about Foxconn before they made that deal. People who had lived there for decades were forced to move for construction. Foxconn was a joke.

I'm hoping no one gave Microsoft any 'tax deals' here either. These huge corporations should not be getting free rides.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
1.1  devangelical  replied to  evilone @1    2 weeks ago

just another rwnj kickback scam...

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
1.1.1  Krishna  replied to  devangelical @1.1    2 weeks ago

jrSmiley_4_smiley_image.png  

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2  Kavika     2 weeks ago

Foxconn has a history of not honoring their commitments after getting ''tax breaks'' from cities and states, this was another con job of theirs.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2.1  seeder  evilone  replied to  Kavika @2    2 weeks ago
Foxconn has a history of not honoring their commitments after getting ''tax breaks'' from cities and states

Yes. Scott Walker ignored all the warnings thinking he could ride a success there to Washington. That didn't work out so well.

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
2.1.1  Kavika   replied to  evilone @2.1    2 weeks ago

And citizens of WI are left to pick up the tab.

 
 
 
evilone
Professor Guide
2.1.2  seeder  evilone  replied to  Kavika @2.1.1    2 weeks ago
And citizens of WI are left to pick up tab.

We also had another company get state, county and city (here) subsidies and low interest loans a few years ago. Everyone got stiffed on that deal too.

 
 
 
devangelical
Professor Principal
2.1.3  devangelical  replied to  evilone @2.1.2    2 weeks ago

I made lots of enemies managing the commercial division of a window supplier by informing HOA members that their MDU managers and board members were expecting the windows and doors in their own units to be paid for by the other tenants, and then it would be a lot easier to sell the project to the new manager and board members. the most fun part of that job was telling people that thought they were wealthy, entitled, and powerful to fuck off, or to write myself weasel clauses into their contracts.

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
3  Krishna    2 weeks ago

Microsoft is spending $3.3 billion to build a new data center at Foxconn's vacant site in Wisconsin, where the Taiwanese manufacturer had previously planned a display factory.

If that is true (that they are building a new data center ...on a vacant site) wouldn't that require people i.e. construction workers to build it?

(Unless the work is totally automated where all the work is done only by robots-- is A. I. "Artificial Intelligence" advanced to that point yet?)

If its being built by actual humans (construction workers) wouldn't that mean more jobs?

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
3.1  Krishna  replied to  Krishna @3    2 weeks ago
If its being built by actual humans (construction workers) wouldn't that mean more jobs?

It seems to me that would mean more jobs(construction workers) to build it.

But wouldn't there be another part to this: once its built, wouldn't there be more new jobs in the area-- techies who run it. Peopleto manage it. Even cleaning people, and perhaps if it was big enough jobs in food places (fast food, other places to eat-- possibly even food trucks?)

 
 
 
Krishna
Professor Expert
3.1.1  Krishna  replied to  Krishna @3.1    2 weeks ago
If its being built by actual humans (construction workers) wouldn't that mean more jobs?
It seems to me that would mean more jobs(construction workers) to build it. But wouldn't there be another part to this: once its built, wouldn't there be more new jobs in the area-- techies who run it. People to manage it. Even cleaning people, and perhaps if it was big enough jobs in food places (fast food, other places to eat-- possibly even food trucks?)

It somehow didn't seem logical that this project would have a negative impact on people in the area (and hurt President Biden's election chances.). So I clicked on the link to (this) seeded story:

The new data center is expected to create around 2,300 union construction jobs and 2,000 permanent jobs. Microsoft will also establish a "Datacenter academy" in Wisconsin to train 1,000 people in the state for STEM jobs, according to a White House press  release

That didn't come from the Trump campaign, but rather i noticed this:

according to a White House press  release .

If this project is so terrible for people, why would the Biden White House mention all this?

Is there someone in The White House trying to sabotage President Biden's re-election efforts?

 
 

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