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Wall Street Journal

The 9-Month-Old AI Startup Challenging Silicon Valley’s Giants

Microsoft announces partnership with Paris-based Mistral, led by 31-year-old CEO Arthur Mensch

This time last year, Arthur Mensch was 30, still employed at a Google unit here, and artificial intelligence had just started to take off in the public consciousness as something more than science fiction.

Since then, so-called generative AI that can converse—and possibly reason—like humans has become the most talked-about technology breakthrough in decades. And the startup Mensch left Google to launch, now all of nine months old, is valued at slightly more than $2 billion.

Mensch’s startup, called Mistral AI, is challenging the conventional wisdom that the winners of the AI race will emerge from among the tech industry’s U.S. giants. Mensch, who founded the company with two engineering-school friends, doesn’t think enormous scale is essential—or that the U.S. will necessarily dominate.