Microsoft appoints co-founder of DeepMind to head new AI branch

Microsoft appoints co-founder of DeepMind to head new AI branch

Mustafa Suleyman, a pioneer in British technology, will lead a company that specializes in consumer goods and research as its chief executive.

The co-founder of the British artificial intelligence research group DeepMind has been named by Microsoft to lead a new AI business.

Along with Demis Hassabis and Shane Legg, Mustafa Suleyman, 39, co-founded DeepMind in 2010. Google later acquired the business for £400 million in 2014. After combining with another division to create Google DeepMind in 2023, it now serves as the focal point of Google’s AI initiatives.

The British AI pioneer, who departed Google in 2022, will lead a new firm named Microsoft AI that will concentrate on the US corporation’s consumer goods and research, according to a blog post by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. A number of staff members from Sulyeman’s Inflection AI firm will be joining the department.

Because of its multibillion-dollar investment in OpenAI, the company that created the ChatGPT chatbot, Microsoft has emerged as a major player in generative AI, a field that involves technology that can generate convincing text, picture, or voice from basic hand-typed directives.

“I’ve known Mustafa for a number of years and have greatly admired him as a visionary, product maker, and builder of pioneering teams that go after bold missions,” Nadella said. He also founded both DeepMind and Inflection.

Microsoft’s consumer AI initiatives, including its Copilot chatbot and the new Bing browser, which leverages the technology behind ChatGPT, are consolidated under this new group. Microsoft’s attempts to monetize its AI initiatives revolve on Copilot, a tool that can create presentations, send letters, and summarize materials.

Nadella added, “This infusion of new talent will enable us to accelerate our pace yet again.”

As chief scientist of the new division, Karen Simonyan, who co-founded Inflection AI alongside Suleyman and Microsoft board member Reid Hoffman, will work with the group.

Google is increasing the scope of its AI initiatives. On Monday, Bloomberg News revealed that Apple was in discussions to integrate Google’s Gemini AI technology inside the iPhone.

With a $4 billion value in June of last year, Inflection AI raised $1.3 billion from Microsoft and Nvidia, two of the biggest names in the genAI race.

Suleyman, who was born in north London to an English mother and a Syrian father, is the author of The Coming Wave, a book on artificial intelligence that highlights the technology’s possible advantages but also raises concerns about its potential to undermine international law. Suleyman also advocates for a large rise in the number of researchers studying AI safety.

Sulyeman referred to the book as a “provocation” in an interview with the Guardian published last year.

“I believe that the intriguing aspect of my work is that it involves making predictions,” he said. Furthermore, I believe that many individuals lack the bravery to make predictions. We do have time to step in, and I don’t believe I’m mistaken.

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