DeepMind co-founder moves to Google to work on AI policy

mustafa suleyman deepmind google ai artificial intelligence policy cofounder

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DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman has announced he’s making the full jump to Google to work on AI policy at the company.

Google acquired DeepMind for $400 million in 2014 and the firm became a subsidiary of Google’s parent company Alphabet in 2015.

Suleyman co-founded DeepMind and originally became its chief product officer. After Google’s acquisition in 2014, Suleyman became DeepMind’s head of applied AI.

In a tweet, Suleyman announced he’s now moving to Google itself to work on AI policy alongside Ken Walker, Jeff Dean, and others.

Suleyman is a longstanding proponent for AI ethics, so his presence at Google may help to ensure the web giant pushes boundaries in terms of technology but while respecting things like human rights.

Of course, DeepMind’s work hasn’t been without its controversies.

An app called Streams, developed by DeepMind for doctors and nurses, was ruled by the UK government in 2017 to have gained inappropriate access to medical data from 1.6 million patients.

At the time, Suleyman wrote in a blog post:

“DeepMind operates autonomously from Google, and we’ve been clear from the outset that at no stage will patient data ever be linked or associated with Google accounts, products or services.”

Critics believe this promise was broken when Streams was grabbed by Google itself. One thing which can’t be criticised, however, is DeepMind has shown its ability to get working AI solutions into the market. Suleyman appears to be part of Google’s desire to tap some of DeepMind’s ability to ship working AI solutions.

In a blog post, DeepMind co-founder Demis Hassabis spoke highly of the role Suleyman had played at the firm:

“As a serial entrepreneur, Mustafa played a key role over the past decade, helping to get DeepMind off the ground, and launched a series of innovative collaborations with Google to reduce energy consumption in data centres, improve Android battery performance, optimise Google Play, and find ways to improve the lives of patients, nurses and doctors alike,” he said.

“Mustafa leaves DeepMind having helped set us up for long-term success, and I’m looking forward to what he’ll achieve in the years ahead as he joins Google in a new role.”

Suleyman will be starting his new role at Google in January.

(Image Credit: Mustafa Suleyman by Joi Ito under CC BY 2.0 license)

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