Microsoft Hires DeepMind Co-Founder to Head its Consumer AI Products

Microsoft Hires DeepMind Co-Founder to Head its Consumer AI Products

Microsoft has hired Inflection AI co-founder Mustafa Suleyman and several of his colleagues to head its consumer AI business as it makes strides into the AI market, and fend off competition.

The newly hired executive is also Google DeepMind’s co-founder who joins the Satya Nadella tech firm along with other former Inflection AI staff as Microsoft seeks to “fend off Alphabet Inc.’s Google in the fiercely contested market for AI products.”

Inflection AI, which is a rival to Microsoft’s key AI partner OpenAI is reportedly making a bold move as it shifts towards selling AI software, although it will keep operating its Pi chabot business.

Suleyman will supervise a wide range of products like integrating and AI Copilot into Windows, add conversational elements to Bing among others bundling the tech firm’s consumer AI products under one bracket “under one leader for the first time.”

Blending together AI products

Over the last 12 months, Microsoft has been overhauling the company’s major AI products from ChatGPT maker OpenAI.

Under its Copilot brand, Nadella blended an AI assistant into products including Windows, consumer and enterprise Office software, Bing and security tools.

While peers like Google are playing catch up in the AI sector, Microsoft’s multibillion dollar investment into OpenAI gave it “a first-mover advantage.” Microsoft backed OpenAI with a $10 billion investment.

However, over a year later of unveiling its upgraded Bing search, “the company has made few gains in that market, which remains dominated by Google,” according to Bloomberg.

“We want to make sure that this next wave is for the consumer, that Microsoft can really, really create incredible products,” said Suleyman, who co-founded DeepMind in 2010 before it was acquired by Google in 2024.

He then worked as AI products and AI policy VP at Google, where one of his big achievements was the application of ML algorithms to cut energy consumption at Google data centers by 40%.

Suleyman was hired together with other co-workers including another Inflection’s co-founder Karén Simonyan, who joins Microsoft as chief scientist for the new consumer AI group.

“Several members of the Inflection team have chosen to join Mustafa and Karen at Microsoft,” wrote Nadella in a blogpost.

“They include some of the most accomplished AI engineers, researchers and builders in the world.”

According to Bloomberg, the new recruitments also mark a step in Microsoft’s efforts to strengthen its in-house capabilities and products “outside of the relationship with OpenAI.

OpenAI congratulates Suleyman and team

Recently, Microsoft poured $16 million into French AI firm – Mistral, which is also a rival to OpenAI. Now, OpenAI has also congratulated Suleyman on his appointment together with his team, promising to collaborate in bringing AI developments to the market.

According to the company, Nadella on Monday told OpenAI CEO Sam Altman about the Suleyman appointment.

“We congratulate Mustafa and Karén on their new roles and look forward to working with them,” said an OpenAI spokesperson in a statement.

“Our partnership with Microsoft is grounded in leveraging Azure supercomputer infrastructure built for OpenAI to power our research and train our next-generation models—a core part of our mission,” further reads the statement.

“We will also continue developing useful AI products like ChatGPT aimed at widely distributing the benefits of AI and driving industry-wide innovation for everyone.”

Also read: WEF Report Shows US Firms Embrace Industrial Metaverse

The battle lines are drawn

Although Microsoft might still trail Google in search engine business, the company is not backing down on the AI front with Nadella promising real rivalry in the sector and a “rebirth of personal computing.”

“We want to bring real competition,” Nadella said in the interview with Bloomberg.

While Microsoft is making strides towards consolidating its position in the AI sector, its AI products have had their own share of problems.

In February this year, users complained about Copilot generating weird response, some of them “disturbing and, in some cases harmful.” However, the company shifted the blame on users alleging they deliberately manipulated Copilot to give those bizarre responses.

According to Bloomberg, an engineer with the company sent letters to the board, lawmakers and Federal Trade Commission indicating that the tech giant wasn’t doing enough to “safeguard its AI image generation tool from creating abusive and violent content.”

Additionally, Bing chat also got uncomfortably too personal with some users prompting the company to cut short some conversations.




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