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Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman, along with Deepmind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman, wants to tap into a particularly prestigious field of Artificial Intelligence: Conversations with computers.

June 13, 2016 was a special day for Linkedin founder Reid Hoffman: that’s when Microsoft announced its acquisition of Linkedin for $26.2 billion, the largest acquisition in the Redmond company’s history to date. It was only recently surpassed by the Activision Blizzard acquisition.

Talking to computers: Inflection AI wants to start a new interface era

The takeover catapulted Hoffmann into the league of the super-rich. His personal fortune is estimated at more than two billion US dollars. Money that he invests in new business ideas with his venture capital company Greylock.

Together with Deepmind founder Mustafa Suleyman and former Deepmind researcher Karén Simonyan, Hoffmann now founded the AI startup Inflection AI. Artificial Intelligence is “one of the transformative technologies of our time,” says Hoffmann, justifying the investment.

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Inflection AI focuses on generating and understanding natural language. Humans should be able to talk to computers and assign them complex tasks without learning code. Alexa on steroids, so to speak.

Suleyman previously said goodbye to Deepmind in August 2019 and Google in January 2022, among other things after complaints about his aggressive management style. He will become CEO of Inflection AI.

Simonyan, an AI researcher, played a key role in Deep Learning for Deempind’s AlphaZero, AlphaFold, WaveNet and BigGAN AI systems, according to Suleyman. Simonyan is co-founder and chief scientist at Inflection AI.

Speech AI “close to human levels”

For Suleyman, speech AI is on the cusp of AI research’s dream: human-level speech generation.

“We will soon have the ability to relay our thoughts and ideas to computers using the same natural, conversational language we use to communicate with people. Over time these new language capabilities will revolutionize what it means to have a digital experience,” Suleyman writes.

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Suleyman sees his startup well positioned in the race with tech giants like Google and Microsoft. Even at large companies, he says, relatively small teams are working on speech AI models. In comparison, Inflection AI can act faster and more dynamically.

Suleyman expects a breakthrough in the next five years, which should then open up “a whole new suite of things that we can do in the product space.” It is not yet known for which target group Inflection AI is developing products, when they will appear and what they will cost.

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Online journalist Matthias is the co-founder and publisher of THE DECODER. He believes that artificial intelligence will fundamentally change the relationship between humans and computers.
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