Inflection AI Microsoft

Microsoft Taps Inflection AI Co-Founders to Run Microsoft AI

Microsoft has enticed Inflection AI co-founders Mustafa Suleyman and Karén Simonyan to serve as CEO and chief scientist, respectively, of a new Microsoft AI division. The two executives, along with several of their Inflection AI colleagues, will focus on consumer products like Copilot, Bing, and Edge. The hirings come less than a year after Microsoft led a $1.3 billion funding round for Inflection and its plans to build a massive AI training cluster to develop open-ended conversational AI assistants.

Inflection to Microsoft

Inflection has been best known for its generative AI chatbot Pi, which is short for Personal Intelligence. Pi is designed to project an empathetic and caring persona using the startup’s proprietary LLM for which it later made an API and has continued to upgrade. Inflection built its LLM to design an emotionally intelligent AI conversationalist that can replicate empathy and human emotion.

Their appointment to Microsoft is a significant boon to the tech giant’s generative AI capabilities, given their track records at Google Deepmind, which Suleyman co-founded. Microsoft is expected to showcase its latest AI innovations at an upcoming event, and CEO Satya Nadella has indicated that Inflection’s alumni will play a key role in the future of Microsoft’s many generative AI projects. Microsoft’s acquisition of talent from Inflection AI is part of a larger trend in the tech industry where companies are aggressively seeking to consolidate their generative AI expertise.

“I’ve known Mustafa for several years and have greatly admired him as a founder of both DeepMind and Inflection, and as a visionary, product maker, and builder of pioneering teams that go after bold missions,” Nadella wrote in a blog post about the group from Inflection joining 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.”

The exodus leaves Inflection’s future uncertain despite its recent unicorn status. Inflection AI has stated it will shift emphasis to an “AI studio” model of building custom enterprise generative AI solutions rather than consumer products. Though promising no changes to Pi yet, it’s worth noting that the announcement had a sunset as the illustrating image. Still, Inflection’s work with Microsoft isn’t over. Microsoft Azure will host future model releases like Inflection-2.5. Inflection board member Reid Hoffman, the last remaining Inflection co-founder, was quick to reveal that former Mozilla head of research and development Sean White is now Inflection CEO.

“Our plan going forward is to lean into our AI studio business, where custom generative AI models are crafted, tested and fine tuned for commercial customers,” Inflection explained in a blog post. Our success at training, tailoring and improving the performance of large AI models makes us uniquely well placed to be the AI platform for businesses around the world.”

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