Mar 19, 2024 - Business

Microsoft hires DeepMind cofounder to head consumer AI

Photo of Mustafa Suleyman

Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Microsoft has hired DeepMind co-founder and Inflection AI CEO Mustafa Suleyman to run its consumer artificial intelligence division.

Why it matters: Microsoft aims to build on its early lead in generative AI, built on an alliance with OpenAI.

Driving the news: In a blog post, Microsoft said Suleyman and Inflection co-founder Karén Simonyan, along with other Inflection employees, would join the company.

  • Suleyman will oversee Microsoft's Copilot project, and Simonyan will become chief scientist.

Catch up quick: Inflection AI, founded in 2022 by Suleyman, Silicon Valley investor Reid Hoffman and Karén Simonyan, last June raised $1.3 billion at a reported $4 billion valuation.

  • It has since debuted Pi, an AI-powered chatbot competing with OpenAI's ChatGPT.

Yes, but: Suleyman admitted to Bloomberg that the company has struggled to find a sustainable business model.

  • This is in sharp contrast to his comments at Axios' BFD event last October, where he said he wants "to build a multi $100 billion business. ... Hopefully one day we'll IPO."
  • Inflection said it will pivot to selling software to other businesses.

Between the lines: Two weeks ago, Inflection was touting the new version of Pi.

  • The generative AI business is moving at warp speed.

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