Mustafa Suleyman, Oxford dropout, Inflection AI co-founder: Unknown facts about new CEO of Microsoft AI

Microsoft on Tuesday named British artificial intelligence pioneer Mustafa Suleyman as the head of its AI division. Suleyman is the co-founder of Google’s DeepMind and will now report directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella.

Suleyman’s hiring will put all of Microsoft’s consumer AI projects under one leader for the first time, according to Bloomberg and in his new role, he will oversee work like the integration of AI Copilot into Windows and adding conversation elements to the company’s Bing search engine.

Who is Mustafa Suleyman?

Suleyman is the son of a Syrian-born taxi-driver father and an English Nurse, who grew up in the London Borough of Islington, according to Wired. He got into Oxford to learn philosophy and theology but dropped out in his second year and started the Muslim Youth Helpline, a UK charity that provides free and confidential faith and culturally sensitive support services targeted at vulnerable young people.

By the age of 22, he was advising then London mayor Ken Livingstone on human rights policy before he found that the government was not the best organisation to promote “radical systemic change.”

What did Mustafa Suleyman do at Google DeepMind?

DeepMind was founded in 2010 and Suleyman was one of the co-founder as well as the head of applied AI. He was an important public figure for the company, according to Blomberg, speaking at events about the promise of AI and the ethical guardrails the technology needs. Google acquired DeepMind in 2014 and after that, he was also responsible for integrating AI technology across Google products and enabling clear communication between the top engineers.

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Why did Mustafa Suleyman leave Google?

Suleyman left Google in 2022 and founded Inflection AI. Inflection developed the popular AI chatbot Pi and has also collaborated with Nvidia to develop hardware for generative AI. The company in 2023 raised $1.3 billion in funding at a $4 billion valuation. Microsoft, Nvidia, and billionaires Reid Hoffman (who is also a cofounder), Bill Gates and Eric Schmidt all invested in the company during the funding round.

Who is joining Mustafa Suleyman at Microsoft?

Karen Simonyan, who is a co-founder of Inflection and its chief scientists, will also join the Nadella-led company as the chief scientist for Microsoft AI, wrote Nadella in a Microsoft blog post. But Suleyman and Simonyan are not the only Inflection employees defecting.

“Several members of the Inflection team have chosen to join Mustafa and Karén at Microsoft. They include some of the most accomplished AI engineers, researchers, and builders in the world. They have designed, led, launched, and co-authored many of the most important contributions in advancing AI over the last five years. I am excited for them to contribute their knowledge, talent, and expertise to our consumer AI research and product making,” wrote Nadella.

Who will report to Mustafa Suleyman at Microsoft?

Mikhail Prakhin, CEO of Microsoft’s Advertising and Web Services, and his team that includes Copilot, Bing and Edge will report to Suleyman, Also, Misha Bilenko, CVP of GenAI at Microsoft and his entire team will be reporting to Suleyman. “These teams are at the vanguard of innovation at Microsoft, bringing a new entrant energy and ethos to a changing consumer product landscape driven by the AI platform shift. These organisational changes will help us double down on this innovation,” explained Nadella.


 

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