The new artificial intelligence startup, Inflection AI, has secured USD 225 million in funding according to the US Securities and Exchange Commission. Inflection is the brainchild of Deepmind co-founder Mustafa Suleyman and LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman.
The funding was raised at an undisclosed valuation of the company and the identity of the investors are not clear at the moment. It is expected that a large portion of the funding will be utilised to hire experts in artificial intelligence, most of whom command a high salary. Representatives of Inflection were not available for comment.
The company, which was founded earlier this year, intends to make AI software products that enhance human communication with computer systems.
At the time of launch in March, Suleyman said that humans have always tried to reduce complexity of their ideas, so as to communicate them effectively to a machine. He said that even while typing a search query, people simplify or write in shorthand in order to let the search engine understand what they are looking for.
Currently, when humans wish to control a computer, learning a programming language is needed to provide instructions, Suleyman added. Alternatively, people use a mouse to navigate and engage with objects on screen. He mentioned that all these are ways in which we simplify our ideas, and reduce their uniqueness, complexity and creativity so as to command a machine to perform a task.
Suleyman, a British entrepreneur, said that Inflection will aim to develop a new range of technologies that will enable any user to communicate with a computer in plain language. At this point in time, it is not clear what the final product will cost, or whom they will be targeted at.
Inflection AI hires new employees
At the initial launch of the company, three team members were named, including Suleyman, Hoffman and Karen Simonyan – a former researcher at DeepMind. Currently, more senior people have been hired by the company.
When the company was launched, only three team members were named: Suleyman, Hoffman and former DeepMind researcher Karén Simonyan. However, others have now joined the fold. Heinrich Kuttler, a former research engineering manager at Meta became a founding member of the Inflection team, and will work on the technical aspect of the business.
Additionally, Joe Fenton, a former senior product manager at Google, joined the company to work on the product end of the business. Maarten Bosma and Rewon Child, former researchers at Google Brain, have also joined the company in April.
In March, Heinrich Kuttler left his research engineering manager role at Meta in London to become a member of the founding team at Inflection, working on the technical side of the business, according to his LinkedIn page. Elsewhere, Joe Fenton left his senior product manager role at Google in February to work on the product side of the business.
Inflection is incubated by VC firm Greylock Ventures, where both Suleyman and Hoffman are partners. In a statement, Greylock Ventures said that it is investing in Inflection, but did not specify a figure.
Inflection is one of several new startups which are focused on helping machines understand ordinary human language.
Others, including Adept and Cohere, have been set up by leaders in the industry.