Microsoft redoubles its commitment to AI by signing Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of Deep Mind | Technology


Microsoft is upping its ante on artificial intelligence, the technology that has led it to become the most valuable company in the world in part thanks to its alliance with OpenAI. The company’s CEO, Satya Nadella, announced this Tuesday a flashy signing. The company adds to its team Mustafa Suleyman, one of the founders of Deep Mind, owned by Google, who was currently the head of Inflection, another artificial intelligence company co-founded by him.

“We must ensure that we have the ability to innovate boldly,” says Nadella in the statement in which he announced the signing, which gives rise to a reorganization of the group, which he described as “exciting and important.” “I have known Mustafa for several years and greatly admire him as the founder of DeepMind and Inflection, and as a visionary, creator of products and pioneering teams pursuing bold missions,” he added.

The artificial intelligence expert joins Microsoft alongside Karén Simonyan, co-founder and chief scientist of Inflection. With his arrival, the company creates a new organization called Microsoft AI, focused on the advancement of its artificial intelligence tool Copilot and its other consumer products and research of this technology. Suleyman will be executive vice president and CEO of Microsoft AI, and joins the group’s senior management team, reporting directly to Nadella. Simonyan joins as Chief Scientist, reporting to Suleyman.

Several members of the Inflection team have also decided to join Suleyman and Karén at Microsoft. They include some of the world’s leading AI engineers, researchers and builders, according to the company. “They have designed, directed, launched and co-authored many of the most important contributions to the advancement of AI over the past five years. I am delighted that they will bring their knowledge, talent and experience to our research and creation of consumer AI products,” Nadella says in her note.

Inflection, a start up artificial intelligence company founded two years ago and which had already reached a valuation of about $4 billion, designed an assistant called Pi to imitate human understanding of emotions and interact with users closely, but had not been able to find a model of effective business.

The head of Microsoft maintains that his innovation in AI will continue to be based on the company’s strategic alliance with OpenAI, the company led by Sam Altman in which the technology giant is a reference shareholder and on whose board he is an observer. Nadella maintains that the new signings will serve to strengthen that alliance. OpenAI takes care of the base models and Microsoft will develop products on top of them.

The current managers and teams of the Copilot assistant, the Bing search engine, the Edge browser and the generative artificial intelligence area, Mikhail Parakhin and Misha Bilenko, will report to Suleyman. Nadella has renewed Microsoft’s main products around OpenAI’s artificial intelligence technology. Under the Copilot brand, Microsoft has integrated an AI assistant into products such as Windows, Office software for businesses and consumers, Bing and security tools.

“We want to make sure that in this next wave, Microsoft can create really incredible products for the consumer,” Suleyman stated in an interview with Bloomberg. “We congratulate Mustafa and Karén on their new roles and look forward to working with them,” said an OpenAI spokesperson in a statement collected by said agency. “Our partnership with Microsoft is based on leveraging the Azure supercomputing infrastructure built for OpenAI to power our research and train our next-generation models, a critical part of our mission. We will also continue to develop useful AI products like ChatGPT aimed at widely distributing the benefits of AI and driving industry-wide innovation for everyone,” he adds.

Kevin Scott continues as chief technology officer and executive vice president of artificial intelligence. He will continue to be responsible for AI strategy, including all system architecture decisions, partnerships and cross-company alliances. “Kevin was the first person I leaned on to help us manage our transformation into an AI-first company, and I will continue to lean on him to ensure our AI strategy and initiatives are consistent across Microsoft,” said Nadella. Rajesh Jha remains EVP of Experiences and Devices and will continue to build Copilot for Microsoft 365, in collaboration with Suleyman and his team.

“We have been operating with speed and intensity and this infusion of new talent will allow us to accelerate our pace once again. We have a real opportunity to build a technology that was previously thought impossible and that lives up to our mission of ensuring that the benefits of AI reach every person and organization on the planet, safely and responsibly,” concludes Nadella.

With Deep Mind, Google was a pioneer in artificial intelligence. However, it had fallen behind in the generative AI race, where Microsoft had taken advantage of its alliance with OpenAI. In February, Google launched Gemini, its answer to OpenAI’s ChatGPT, although some bugs overshadowed its launch. Google is in talks to license Gemini to Apple for new iPhone features expected later this year, Bloomberg reported this week. A deal with Apple would strengthen the two companies’ relationship around search and hinder Microsoft’s progress in smartphones.

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