by Wade Tyler Millward, CRN

World Wide Technology is putting a dollar figure on its investment in generative artificial intelligence: $500 million over three years for efforts including an AI lab environment for testing and validating applications that use the cutting-edge technology.

St. Louis-based WWT – No. 9 on CRN's 2023 Solution Provider 500 – will open the lab as part of its 15-year-old physical and virtual data center environment, the Advanced Technology Center (ATC), the company said in a statement Tuesday.

Customers will have the ability to experiment and develop custom AI products and services before spending time, money and resources on an AI app, according to the statement. Users will have the capability to test large language models (LLMs), discover and classify data, test threat potential and more.

In September, WWT CEO Jim Kavanaugh told CRN about the provider's new composable AI lab offering and how it will help customers figure out the storage needed, how many vendor platforms to use, how much open source technology they can use and other variables in adopting AI.

"There's a lot going on there and we're just excited to be right in the middle of it," he said at the time. "We're spending a lot of time, not just having those relationships, but really the deep expertise around the hardware, the software, the infrastructure, and the data scientists and software developers that have been collaborating with our collective teams in our labs and working with our customers and our OEMs on these efforts."

Kavanaugh also told CRN in September that WWT's hiring spree of about 700 employees is in part to keep up with GenAI demands.


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