The British co-founder of artificial intelligence (AI) firm DeepMind has claimed UK tech needs to take more risks if it wants to become an AI superpower – after basing his new AI company in the US.
Mustafa Suleyman, who has been vocal about the challenges UK tech companies face, told the BBC that the US is better equipped for growth.
“The truth is, the US market is not only huge, but also more predisposed to big risk taking, taking big shots and having big funding rounds,” Suleyman told the publication.
Adding: “I think the culture shift that [the UK] needs to make is to be more encouraging of large scale investments, more encouraging of risk taking, and more tolerant and more celebratory of failures.”
Suleyman previously co-founded DeepMind Technologies in the UK, an AI start-up that was sold to Google in 2014. The AI laboratory now operates as Google subsidiary DeepMind.
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UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been making it a priority of his tenure to make the UK a global leader for AI.
His government announced a UK taskforce which will focus on reaping the benefits of AI, as well as pledging £1bn of funding over the next decade.
The DeepMind co-founder’s criticism of the UK tech landscape mirrors the challenges raised by Ian Hogarth, the newly appointed head of the UK AI taskforce.
Hogarth previously said that the UK needs to make it easier for start-ups to grow, noting that the UK has seen some good companies begin over the years.
“I think really our ecosystem needs to rise to the next level of the challenge,” Hogarth told the BBC.
Adding: “We’ve had some great [technology] companies and some of them got bought early, you know. Skype got bought by eBay, DeepMind got bought by Google.”
Suleyman’s new company, Inflection AI, is aiming to build an AI studio that can provide a personal AI to everyone.
“Our first AI is called Pi, for personal intelligence, a supportive and empathetic conversational AI,” the company said.
Inflection AI announced $1.3bn in a fresh round of funding in June backed by Microsoft, Reid Hoffman, Bill Gates, Eric Schmidt and NVIDIA.