Microsoft announces new AI division led by controversial DeepMind, Inflection co-founder Mustafa Suleyman

Key Points:

  • Mustafa Suleyman and Karén Simonyan join Microsoft to form a new organization called Microsoft AI
  • Mustafa Suleyman appointed as EVP and CEO, Microsoft AI, to lead consumer AI products and research
  • Inflection announces new CEO and plans to bring its Inflection-2.5 AI model to Microsoft Azure

Summary:

Mustafa Suleyman, one of the original co-founders of DeepMind, alongside his Inflection co-founder Karén Simonyan, and other team members from Inflection, have joined Microsoft to establish a new division called Microsoft AI. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced this move, with Suleyman appointed as EVP and CEO of Microsoft AI, and Simonyan as Chief Scientist. Suleyman shared his excitement about leading consumer AI products like Copilot, Bing, and Edge at Microsoft, while expressing gratitude for the opportunity. In response, Inflection has appointed Sean White as the new CEO, emphasizing the continuity of service and a commitment to provide ongoing access to AI experiences with their Inflection-2.5 model.

 

Despite the celebratory tone around this transition, concerns emerged from the public regarding past accusations of bullying behavior by Suleyman, particularly during his time at Google DeepMind. These concerns were exacerbated by the consolidation of AI talent among major tech players like Microsoft, leading to discussions on social media about the implications for AI sector dynamics. The hiring of Suleyman and Simonyan, along with several Inflection employees, by Microsoft raised questions about concentration of power in the generative AI landscape.

 

Moreover, the history of allegations against Suleyman has resurfaced, indicating instances of bullying behavior and conflicts within the workplace. Despite acknowledging his management shortcomings in the past, Suleyman expressed remorse and underwent professional development training. However, ongoing reports suggested confidential settlements with former employees who had raised complaints about his conduct. The move by Microsoft to bring in Suleyman as part of its AI leadership team has stirred mixed reactions among industry insiders, highlighting concerns about ethics, consolidation, and power dynamics in the evolving AI domain.

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