Interview with Inflection AI CEO, Mustafa Suleyman

Origins of DeepMind

  • DeepMind was founded in 2010 by Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman.
  • Suleyman and Hassabis met while playing poker in London. They discussed ideas on impacting the world and how AI/robots could automate everything.
  • Hassabis invited Suleyman to attend “lunch and learns” at his lab where Suleyman met Legg.
  • They pitched Peter Thiel at the Singularity Summit in 2010 on deep learning and an image search tool using deep learning. Thiel invested $2 million in DeepMind.

Early Challenges

  • For 2-3 years, deep learning didn’t seem to be gaining traction.
  • DeepMind’s breakthrough was the Atari game player using deep reinforcement learning in 2013. This impressed Larry Page.

Acquisition by Google

  • In 2014, Google acquired DeepMind for $650 million. Investors wanted DeepMind to stay independent but DeepMind foresaw needing billions in investment.
  • DeepMind now has 1300 employees and spends over $1 billion per year on compute.

Achievements at Google

  • Deployed deep learning models across Google products: search, YouTube, Android, data centers, etc.
  • Reduced Google data center energy use by 30%.
  • Increased Google wind turbine efficiency by 20%.
  • Designed activity tracking for wearables.

The AI Revolution

  • The revolution is driven more by hardware advances than algorithms. Compute has increased 10x each year for ML models.
  • In 5 years, most websites and apps will become conversational AIs.

Inflection AI

Inflection AI

Downsides of AI

  • Significant job displacement but new jobs will also be created.
  • Need for retraining and a transition period. AI tutors could help accelerate retraining.

The Coming Wave Book

  • Suleyman’s new book covers risks of AI and synthetic biology over the next 10-15 years.
  • Labor displacement will impact administrative and cognitive manual labor the most.
  • With zero marginal cost access to knowledge and intelligence, success will depend on an individual’s hunger and drive. This could disadvantage complacent elites.

So in summary, the key takeaways are:

  • The origins and breakthroughs of DeepMind including early funding and accomplishments at Google.
  • The rapid advances in compute power driving the AI revolution.
  • Suleyman’s new company Inflection AI focused on personal AI assistants.
  • The risks of AI displacing jobs and enabling global competition.
  • How Suleyman’s new book covers risks, job impacts and the democratization of intelligence.

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