Microsoft hires influential AI figure Mustafa Suleyman to head up consumer AI business

LONDON — Microsoft has hired Mustafa Suleyman to head up its consumer artificial intelligence business, adding to its ranks an influential figure in the artificial intelligence world to cement its position at the forefront of the booming AI industry.

Suleyman said in a post on LinkedIn on Monday that he’ll become CEO of Microsoft AI, leading all of the company’s consumer AI products and research, including its generative AI service Copilot as well as its Bing search engine and Edge browser.

The hiring is likely to bolster Microsoft’s lead position in the booming AI industry, as big tech companies battle for position to capitalize on demand for AI services. Microsoft has teamed up with ChatGPT maker OpenAI, investing billions of dollars into the San Francisco company, and recently partnered with France’s Mistral, a hot AI startup.

Suleyman co-founded DeepMind, which Google purchased in 2014, and continued to work there until 2022, when he left to set up another, with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman in an effort to create AI that won’t veer into racist, sexist or violent behavior.

He also co-wrote a book, “The Coming Wave,” that examines AI’s promise and the need to limit its potential perils.