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Microsoft Brings in Google's DeepMind Co-Founder into its Director of Consumer AI Division

CIO Insider Team | Wednesday, 20 March, 2024
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To strengthen its position in the artificial intelligence market competition against its rivals, Microsoft has brought in Mustafa Suleyman as the director of its consumer AI division and hired the majority of the employees from his AI startup, Inflection.

The Google DeepMind’s Co-Founder is expected to report to Microsoft’s CEO and will be in charge of many projects like bringing conversational components to the Bing search engine and integration of AI Copilot into Windows. Through his appointment, Microsoft seeks to unify its consumer AI efforts under a single executive for the first time.

Considered as a competitor to Microsoft’s AI partner OpenAi, Inflection is said to let off its Pi consumer chatbot project and instead work on providing AI tools to companies. Inflection’s Co-Founder Karén Simonyan is also believed to be filling in Microsoft’s head scientist role for the new consumer AI division.

Observing from the past year, Microsoft’s CEO has been repurposing OpenAI’s AI technologies for his company’s flagship products. The company has incorporated an AI assistant named Copilot into a lot of its products like Windows, Office software for consumers and businesses, Bing and security solutions.

With Nadella’s strategic investment into OpenAI, Microsoft has the advantage to be a first-mover while its rivals are seen yet to catch up. However, the company is noted to have not made much of a progress as it is still faces dominance from Google even after a while of launching its AI bing search.

The new joinees represent another important move which is to bolster Microsoft’s internal AI skills and offerings.

Nadella remarked upon Microsoft’s strong commitment with OpenAi and said that it will continue giving business access to cloud computing resources as it may develop its AI models and incorporate them into its software.

The Google DeepMind’s Co-Founder is expected to report to Microsoft’s CEO and will be in charge of many projects like bringing conversational components to the Bing search engine and integration of AI Copilot into Windows.

In June, Inflection successfully collected $1.3 billion during one of the biggest investment rounds of the AI craze in Silicon Valley. According to a person familiar with the situation at the time, the business was valued at $4 billion during that round. Along with Suleyman and Simonyan, Microsoft board member Reid Hoffman is credited with helping to start the two-year-old company. Other backers include Nvidia Corp., former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates.

Inflection AI announced that it will host Inflection-2.5 on Microsoft Azure as part of the transition/situation, claiming that this will assist to reach "creators everywhere." "We'll also make sure it comes to other cloud hosting platforms in the near future," the statement continued. Although it isn't currently available, the API will be available very soon.

It seems that Microsoft has been developing the new AI unit for a while. When Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, the co-founders of OpenAI, briefly left the company in December, Nadella made them an offer to join.

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