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Google recruits DeepMind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman to join its AI team



More personnel changes are taking place at Alphabet Inc., with DeepMind Technologies Ltd co-founder Mustafa Suleyman  (pictured) moving upstairs to work with Google LLC’s artificial intelligence team.

Suleyman made the announcement on Twitter, saying he would be joining Google to work with its head of AI Jeff Dean and chief legal officer Kent Walker in an unspecified role that will see him help shape its AI policy.

Suleyman had helped to start up DeepMind back in 2010 alongside its current Chief Executive Officer Demis Hassabis and its Chief Scientist Shane Legg. He originally served as its Chief Product Officer, but later become its head of Applied AI after it was acquired by Google in 2014.

The latter role saw Suleyman tasked with finding real-world applications for the AI technologies DeepMind created. They include the company’s Streams app for doctors and nurses, which uses AI to aid them in identifying health problems. DeepMind has partnered with several hospitals in the U.K. to test Streams, which was later folded into Google’s new Health unit.

DeepMind has plenty of other notable achievements under its belt. One of the best examples is the AlphaGo AI system it developed, which managed to defeat the world’s leading Go player Lee Sedol 4-1 over a five match series.

Earlier this year it was reported that Suleyman was taking an unspecified amount of time off from the company, leading to speculation over his role. It’s not clear when, or even if, he returned to work, but in any case he won’t be hanging around at DeepMind for much longer as he’s planning to take up his new role at Google in January.

The move is notable as it comes just days after Alphabet announced that Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were stepping down from the parent company, to be replaced by Google CEO Sundar Pichai.

“When execs move upstairs it creates room,” said Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. “Regardless Google has always hired talent that have done bigger jobs. Suleyman is another great example of how it attracts talent, as we saw this year with Thomas Kurian and Robert Enslin.”

Photo: Joi Ito/Flickr

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