Microsoft has chosen Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of the British AI powerhouse DeepMind, to spearhead its latest AI venture. Suleyman, 39, alongside Demis Hassabis and Shane Legg, initiated DeepMind in 2010, which was later acquired by Google for £400m in 2014. Serving as the cornerstone of Google’s AI initiatives, DeepMind amalgamated with another entity to form Google DeepMind in 2023.

Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, disclosed in a blog post that Suleyman, a renowned British AI pioneer who departed Google in 2022, will helm a fresh initiative labeled Microsoft AI. This endeavor will concentrate on the development of consumer products and research endeavors within the US-based tech giant. Numerous personnel from Suleyman’s Inflection AI startup will transition to this newly established division.

Microsoft’s prominence in generative AI, a technology capable of instantly generating convincing text, images, or audio from rudimentary inputs, is attributed to its substantial investment in OpenAI, the brains behind the ChatGPT chatbot. Nadella remarked, “I’ve known Mustafa for several years and have long admired his visionary leadership in founding both DeepMind and Inflection, as well as his adeptness in assembling pioneering teams to pursue ambitious missions.”

The integration of Microsoft’s consumer AI endeavors, such as the Copilot chatbot and the latest Bing browser incorporating ChatGPT technology, is the focal point of this new division. Copilot, central to Microsoft’s revenue-generating AI initiatives, boasts capabilities including email composition, document summarization, and presentation creation.

Nadella expressed his optimism, stating, “This infusion of new talent will enable us to accelerate our pace yet again.” Karen Simonyan, co-founder of Inflection AI alongside Suleyman and Microsoft board member Reid Hoffman, will assume the role of chief scientist within the newly formed unit.

As Google expands its AI endeavors, Bloomberg News recently reported discussions between Apple and Google regarding the integration of Google’s Gemini AI product into iPhones.

Inflection AI has emerged as a prominent entity in the realm of generative AI, having secured $1.3bn from Microsoft and chipmaker Nvidia, valuing the company at $4bn as of last June.

Suleyman, a native of north London with Syrian and English heritage, recently authored a book on AI titled “The Coming Wave,” highlighting its potential benefits while cautioning about its potential to disrupt global order. He advocates for a substantial increase in researchers dedicated to AI safety.

In an interview with the Guardian last year, Suleyman described his book as a “provocation,” emphasizing his commitment to predicting and intervening in future trends.


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