Microsoft Louisville press conference

Officials announced June 7, 2019 that Microsoft would establish an artificial intelligence training hub in Louisville.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Technology giant Microsoft will establish a small office in Louisville focused on helping businesses in manufacturing and healthcare incorporate artificial intelligence into their work, officials said.

Microsoft plans to hire four “fellows” per year from the Louisville community who will learn AI skills through the company’s proprietary curriculum, with the hopes of helping Louisville-area businesses adapt to workforce automation, according to top officials in Mayor Greg Fischer’s administration.

Fischer was set to announce the partnership at a news conference Friday the new Entrepreneur Center at 900 E. Main Street, which will likely be the physical location of the Microsoft office, officials said.

The idea is to make Louisville a “hub” for AI, putting the city at the forefront of technology that will play an increasing role in business in coming decades. The effort will also focus on “Internet of Things” technology and data science.

“We’re kind of on the cusp of the AI revolution, so this is kind of like if Dell came to us in 1993 and said, ‘You know, we would love for you guys to be our regional hub for PC (personal computer) manufacturing,’” said Eric Burnette, senior policy advisor at Louisville Forward, Metro government’s economic development agency.

The deal requires Metro government to support and promote the project, but no public money is involved.

Louisville officials added that it will “entirely complimentary” and not duplicative of a recently announced partnership between the University of Louisville and IBM focused on technology training.

Reach reporter Chris Otts at 502-585-0822, cotts@wdrb.com, on Twitter or on Facebook. Copyright 2019 WDRB News. All rights reserved.