Microsoft hires British-Syrian Mustafa Suleyman to head AI – The New Arab

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Mustafa Suleyman, a highly respected British-Syrian AI expert, has been named as Microsoft’s artificial intelligence business head, as the company cements its position in this booming field.

Suleyman co-founded DeepMind, which Google purchased in 2014, before starting up in 2022 with LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman, to guide AI away from racist, sexist or violent behaviour. It has also been named a rival to Microsoft in the field of AI.

He also co-wrote ‘The Coming Wave’, a highly influential book in the tech industry that examines the potential and pitfalls of AI.

Microsoft said in a post on LinkedIn on Monday named Sulyaman as CEO of Microsoft AI, leading all of its consumer products and research, including its generative AI service Copilot as well as its Bing search engine and Edge browser. 

He will report directly to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who welcomed his appointment in a blog post.

“This infusion of new talent will enable us to accelerate our pace yet again,” Nadella wrote.

The hiring is likely to bolster Microsoft’s lead position in the booming AI industry, as big tech companies battle for positions to capitalise on the 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 is the son of a Syrian taxi driver and English nurse and grew up in North London. He dropped out of Oxford University aged 19, before founding the Muslim Youth Hotline, which became one of the biggest counseling services for Muslims in the UK.

His appointment to the top Microsoft position has been welcomed by British Arabs and Syrians worldwide, who have commended him for his journey from relatively humble beginnings to one of the leading positions in the IT industry.

He was named in The New Arab‘s ‘The notable British Arabs making a difference’ list in 2021.

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