Google’s DeepMind co-founder hired by Microsoft to build AI

Microsoft has hired Mustafa Suleyman, the co-founder of DeepMind, to lead a freshly established consumer AI division.

The AI unit will focus on consumer AI efforts, such as incorporating the Copilot chatbot into Windows OS and the Bing browser with AI conversational elements.

Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder and previous head of applied AI at DeepMind – a company acquired by Google in 2014 – went on to co-found Inflection AI, specializing in machine learning and generative AI. Microsoft's decision to appoint him as a lead also involved recruiting employees from his Inflection AI startup.

"This infusion of new talent will enable us to accelerate our pace yet again," Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella wrote in a blog post.

Inflection AI, a competitor of Microsoft's primary AI collaborator, OpenAI, will transition to marketing AI software to businesses maintaining its Pi (Personal Intelligence) chatbot business operations.

Mustafa Suleyman
Mustafa Suleyman, entrepreneur and co-founder of DeepMind and Inflection AI, speaks at the AI Safety Summit at Bletchley Park on November 1, 2023. Credit: REUTERS

Suleyman noted that despite getting significant investor attention, including Microsoft, and boasting a million active daily users, the startup has struggled to find a viable business model.

As big tech companies are racing for their share in the AI industry, Suleyman’s hire marks a significant move by Microsoft to strengthen its internal AI capabilities, distinct from its partnership with OpenAI. Last month, Microsoft invested $16 million in Mistral AI, a French rival to OpenAI.