Elon Musk, the renowned Tesla CEO, has an intriguing relationship with Shivon Zilis, the director of Neuralink and the mother of two of Musk’s children. In an exciting revelation, Walter Isaacson, Musk’s biographer, recently shared some insights into their relationship.
Isaacson’s forthcoming biography on Elon Musk includes a sneak peek into their dynamic. In a social media post, he shared a photo of Musk and Zilis with their twins, who were 16 months old at the time. The photo was taken during a discussion about the threat posed by artificial intelligence (AI) on civilization.
Isaacson described the scene, saying that they were sitting on a suburban patio by a tranquil backyard swimming pool on a sunny spring day. As they watched their bright-eyed twins learning to toddle, Musk shared somber speculations about the window of opportunity for building a sustainable human colony on Mars before an AI apocalypse destroyed earthly civilization.
Shivon Zilis has been a part of Musk’s professional orbit for several years, working as the director of operations and special projects at Neuralink. The startup focuses on creating computer chips designed to be implanted in the brain.
Interestingly, Zilis and Musk filed a petition in 2022 to change their twins’ names to include Musk’s last name as part of their middle name, according to court documents. This highlights their connection and commitment as parents.
Musk has seven other known living children, including five with his first wife, Justine, and two with his former girlfriend, Grimes. He has expressed his concern about the underpopulation crisis and has dedicated himself to contributing to a better future for humanity.
As for Zilis, she has had a successful career in venture capital and artificial intelligence. She attended Yale University, where she played goalie on the women’s ice hockey team and graduated with a degree in economics and philosophy in 2008. She then worked at IBM, focusing on financial technologies, and later joined Bloomberg Beta, where she led investment efforts in data and machine learning.
Zilis’ interest in AI developed at a young age, and she has been actively involved in the field throughout her career. In 2016, she joined OpenAI, a nonprofit co-founded by Musk, which aims to ensure that AI benefits humanity as a whole.
In addition to her work at Neuralink, Zilis has also served as a project director at Tesla, lending her expertise in AI to the Autopilot and chip-design teams. Her dedication and passion for the field were recognized when she was named to Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list in the venture capital category in 2015.
In her presentation at the Canadian Undergraduate Conference on AI in 2021, Zilis called Neuralink the most fascinating and complicated thing she has encountered in her life. She emphasized the need to ensure that AI development benefits humanity.
While Zilis and Musk have been working closely together, they faced some challenges in their personal lives. Musk’s biographer revealed that Zilis gave birth to twins in 2021, which initially caused tension with Musk’s then-partner, Grimes. However, in a recent statement on social media, Grimes expressed her willingness to make amends and become friends, emphasizing the importance of their children growing up together.
Zilis recently purchased a home in Austin, where Tesla’s Gigafactory is located. This confirms her commitment to her work with Musk’s ventures and their shared vision for technology and its impact on the world.
The relationship between Elon Musk and Shivon Zilis is a unique blend of professional collaboration and personal connection. Both individuals are deeply committed to AI and its potential to shape our future positively. With their shared goals and dedication, it is fascinating to observe their journey together and how they will contribute to advancements in technology and human civilization.