Artificial intelligence

UK needs a culture shift to become an AI superpower – co-founder of DeepMind

  • By Zoe Kleinman
  • Technology Writer

7 hours ago

source of images, Inflection AI


Mustafa Suleyman co-founder of DeepMind and founder of Inflection AI

The co-founder of leading AI company DeepMind, which started as a UK company and was sold to Google, says the UK should encourage risk-taking if it wants to become an AI superpower .

Mustafa Suleyman added that he had no regrets about selling DeepMind to the American giant in 2014.

“The US market is not only huge, but also more prone to taking big hits,” he told the BBC.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak wants the UK to be a global hub for AI.

He pledged £1billion in funding over the next 10 years and founded a UK task force to maximize the benefits of the technology while protecting it.

This week BBC News focuses on AI, how the technology affects our lives and what impacts it could have in the near future.

Mr Suleyman said the UK had “every chance” of becoming an AI superpower and leased its research facilities, but added there were not the same growth opportunities for AI superpowers. companies than in the United States.

“I think the culture shift he needs to make is to be more supportive of large-scale investing, more supportive of risk-taking, and more tolerant and more celebrating failure,” he said. .

“The truth is that the US market is not only huge, but also more predisposed to taking big risks, taking big hits, and having big funding rounds.”

Mr. Suleyman chose to base his new company, Inflection AI, in Palo Alto, California, which is also home to the headquarters of Google, Facebook and Tesla.

source of images, Getty Images


Palo Alto in Silicon Valley, California, where Mr. Suleyman chose to found his new company, Inflection AI

What is DeepMind?

DeepMind is often considered one of the most successful AI companies to grow in the UK.

It was sold to Google in 2014 for $400 million. The price paid has not been made public.

An earlier DeepMind product called AlphaGo beat Chinese strategy game Go’s top human player, Lee Se-dol, 4-1 in a tournament held in 2016.

It was considered a major breakthrough for artificial intelligence at the time.

British challenge

Mustafa Suleyman’s views represent one of the challenges facing Ian Hogarth, a British entrepreneur and investor who has been appointed head of the UK AI Task Force.

He took office five weeks ago.

In his first interview since getting the job, Mr Hogarth told the BBC that while the UK was a good place for start-ups, it should also be easier for them to grow.

“We had a great time [tech] companies and some of them were bought early, you know – Skype was bought by eBay, DeepMind was bought by Google.

“I really think our ecosystem needs to take the challenge to the next level.”

This week BBC News focuses on AI, how the technology affects our lives and what impacts it could have in the near future.

It’s a view I often hear from smaller tech companies – they’re aiming to be taken over by an American tech giant, rather than becoming a giant themselves.

Emma McClenaghan and her partner Matt run an award-winning AI start-up in Northern Ireland, but they struggle to access the infrastructure they need to advance their product.

The week Emma contacted me, she said that Twitter owner Elon Musk had bought 10,000 specialized chips called GPUs, needed to build and train AI tools – and that she had been waiting five months for a subsidy to buy one.

“It’s the difference between us and them because it’s going to take us, you know, four to seven days to train a model and if it’s [able to] do it in minutes, then you know, we’re never going to catch up,” she said.

Ian Hogarth thinks that a future solution may be for countries, rather than companies, to own this infrastructure.

“It will be a fundamental part of the next generation of innovations,” he said.

Follow Zoe Kleinman on Twitter @zsk


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