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London gets a Microsoft AI hub led by former Inflection and Deepmind scientist Jordan Hoffmann

Microsoft has revealed a new London hub for its recently introduced consumer AI division. Jordan Hoffmann, an AI scientist and engineer who was most recently hired by Microsoft from the well-known AI startup Inflection AI, in which Microsoft made a sizeable investment last year, will appear on the program.

In a recent development, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella announced the creation of a new consumer AI division under the direction of the founders of Inflection AI, including Mustafa Suleyman, who is also a co-founder of Deepmind, the AI business that Google acquired in 2014.

During that period, Nadella mentioned that a few individuals from the Inflection team also transitioned to Microsoft’s new AI unit (according to Bloomberg, it was reported that most of them made the move). One of those individuals was Hoffmann, who had previously been a PhD student and later joined Deepmind as a research scientist in 2020. However, Hoffmann made the decision to leave Deepmind and join Inflection AI after Suleyman established the startup in 2022 and began recruiting employees from Deepmind and Meta.

In a recent blog post, Suleyman praises Hoffmann as an outstanding AI scientist and engineer. Given Suleyman’s direct reporting to Nadella in the U.S., Hoffmann has been entrusted with leading the new London unit.

Suleyman mentioned that in the “coming weeks and months,” Microsoft will be launching new job postings to recruit talented individuals in the field of AI. These individuals will have the opportunity to join Hoffmann at Microsoft’s Paddington office, where they will work on developing innovative language models and the necessary infrastructure and tools.

In addition to another recent announcement made in conjunction with the U.K. government, Microsoft has revealed plans to invest £2.5 billion ($3.15 billion) in the U.K. over the next three years. This investment will involve expanding its data center footprint and providing training for over one million individuals in preparation for the AI economy.

The U.K. is widely recognized as one of the leading countries in the world when it comes to investing in AI research and development. While it falls behind the U.S. and China in this regard, the presence of Google’s DeepMind in the U.K. capital adds an interesting dynamic. It sets the stage for a potential battle between two frontrunners vying for supremacy in the AI race.

In a noteworthy development, Demis Hassabis, the co-founder and CEO of Google DeepMind, has been honored with a knighthood for his remarkable contributions to the field of artificial intelligence.

TechCrunch contacted Microsoft to inquire about the size of its U.K. AI hub. However, the company declined to provide any additional information at this time.

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