A lesson in tackling system limitations

deepmind, AI

In every role that Mustafa Suleyman, Co-founder and Head of Applied AI at DeepMind, has been involved in, he has challenged the paucity of social change vehicles. With its latest NHS partnerships and the ‘Streams’ app, the AI hub has been fostering best practice sharing across the system.

But how much of a challenge is this?

Mustafa Suleyman’s name has been doing the rounds in healthcare IT news around the UK. In London’s quirky Google HQ in King’s Cross, the DeepMind Co-founder and Head of Applied Artificial Intelligence (AI) asks Insights: “What is not work? Look, I’m just evangelically obsessed with our mission, I mean, my passion is my work, I care about nothing else as much.”

You could say he’s been in health IT ever since he was 19 years old. Dropping out of Oxford University, Suleyman set up the Muslim Youth Helpline, one of England’s largest mental health support services of its kind. Coming face-to-face with the staggering lack of social change vehicles, he now says the main goal is having a ‘really meaningful impact’ at scale. “Every shift I’ve made has been to address some previous weakness or limitation in the thing I thought wasn’t working before,” he explains.

Turning 22, he went on to work for Ken Livingstone, former Mayor of London, as a Human Rights Policy Officer, looking at the impact of the Human Rights Act, which only went into effect in 2005, despite being introduced in 1998.

“From charity I went to work in government, from government I went to work with think-tank, from think-tank I went to work in conflict resolution and global negotiation and the UN and started a company and here we are, trying to reconcile the same values,” he adds, pointing to DeepMind Health’s mission/mantra.

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