Monday, July 22, 2024

Microsoft recruits Inflection founders to head new consumer AI division

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Microsoft has recently made a major move to strengthen its AI capabilities by hiring Mustafa Suleyman and Karen Simonyan, co-founders of the renowned AI startup Inflection AI, along with several other members of their team. This decision comes as part of Microsoft’s aggressive strategy to attract top talent in the AI field.

Suleyman, who is also a co-founder of DeepMind (acquired by Google in 2014), will now lead Microsoft’s newly formed consumer AI unit called Microsoft AI. Simonyan, on the other hand, will join the company as a chief scientist in the same group. Suleyman’s official title at Microsoft is EVP and CEO of Microsoft AI, and he will report directly to CEO Satya Nadella.

In addition to overseeing the consumer AI unit, Suleyman will also be in charge of AI products and research for Copilot, Bing, and Edge, as he announced in a tweet. Several members of the Inflection AI team have chosen to follow Suleyman and Simonyan to Microsoft, making the transition smoother and enriching the company with top AI talent.

Inflection AI, founded in 2022 by LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman and Suleyman, has been known for its work on AI systems that engage in open-ended dialogue and assist with various tasks. The startup recently announced a shift in focus to the AI studio business, where it will build and test customer generative AI models. As part of this transition, Inflection AI will host Inflection-2.5 on Microsoft Azure, with plans to expand to other cloud hosting platforms in the future.

Microsoft’s interest in strengthening its AI capabilities has been evident for some time. The company had previously shown intention to hire OpenAI co-founders Sam Altman and Greg Brockman, indicating a strategic focus on AI innovation. Nadella emphasized the importance of bold innovation in the AI space, stating that Microsoft is still in the early stages of the AI platform shift and must continue to enhance its capabilities.

Overall, Microsoft’s acquisition of talent from Inflection AI, along with its continuous efforts to attract top AI professionals, demonstrates the company’s commitment to staying at the forefront of AI innovation and development.

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