Google DeepMind cofounder hired to lead Microsoft’s AI efforts

According to Bloomberg, Microsoft has hired Mustafa Suleyman, one of the cofounders of Google’s DeepMind, to lead its consumer AI initiatives.

The artificial intelligence lab DeepMind was founded in 2010 by Suleyman, Demis Hassabis, and Shane Legg before being acquired by Google in 2014. Since then, DeepMind has become the foundation of Google’s efforts in machine learning and artificial intelligence, including the Gemini chatbot.

Suleyman remained with DeepMind until 2019 when he moved to work directly for Google as an AI product management lead. He later departed the company in 2022 to form a new startup, Inflection, which competed with OpenAI, one of Microsoft’s key partners in the AI space.

Inflection set itself apart by emphasizing the tone and emotional intelligence of its AI products, including the Pi chatbot, which was “designed to be a kind and supportive companion.” In hiring Suleyman, Microsoft is also hiring a significant portion of Inflection’s staff, including fellow cofounder Karén Simonyan, who will serve as chief scientist of the company’s consumer AI effort. According to Bloomberg, the new group will be focused on creating “compelling, well-designed products for consumers.”

We want to make sure that this next wave is one that for the consumer Microsoft can really, really create incredible products.

– Mustafa Suleyman, via Bloomberg

Microsoft and OpenAI will continue their partnership, with Suleyman focusing his efforts on taking existing AI models and “turning those models into actual products today.”

While Microsoft had quite the headstart thanks to the launch of the GPT-4-based Copilot across the web, Windows 11 PCs, and even Android devices, the software giant still has stiff competition. In recent months, Google’s AI efforts have gained a strong foothold in the mobile devices space, between the launch of Gemini on Android and recent talks of providing AI services for Apple’s iPhone lineup.

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