Shivon Zilis, Neuralink exec and mom to Elon Musk’s twins, quits OpenAI board
Shivon Zilis, the Canadian-born Neuralink executive and mother to twin babies who were fathered by her boss Elon Musk via in vitro fertilization, has stepped down from the board of artificial intelligence unicorn OpenAI, according to a report.
Zilis’ departure from OpenAI, which was first reported by the tech-centric news site The Information, comes in the wake of Musk’s criticism of the Silicon Valley-based research firm which he helped found in 2015.
The Post has sought comment from Zilis and OpenAI.
Zilis, 37, is considered an expert in the field of artificial intelligence, according to The Information.
She first joined OpenAI as an advisor in 2016. The next year, she was hired by Musk’s electric car maker, Tesla, to work on its autopilot technology.
Musk, 51, tweeted earlier this month that he had donated around $100 million to co-found OpenAI, which at the time was a nonprofit.
OpenAI is the company behind ChatGPT, the AI-powered chat bot that has dazzled the tech world with its conversational language and learning capabilities that some speculate could be enough to supplant humans in knowledge-based industries.
After OpenAI recently revealed a private valuation of some $30 billion from investors like Microsoft.
Musk tweeted: “I’m still confused as to how a non-profit to which I donated ~$100M somehow became a $30B market cap for-profit. If this is legal, why doesn’t everyone do it?”
In another tweet, Musk wrote: “OpenAI was created as an open source (which is why I named it ‘Open’ AI), non-profit company to serve as a counterweight to Google, but now it has become a closed source, maximum-profit company effectively controlled by Microsoft. Not what I intended at all.”
Musk was part of a group of co-founders including LinkedIn visionary Reid Hoffman, 55, who collectively donated $1 billion to OpenAI.
Hoffman also stepped down from OpenAI’s board earlier this month, citing conflicts of interests with other AI-centric firms.
In 2018, Musk expressed frustration to OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, 37, that the firm had fallen behind Google in its quest to advance artificial intelligence research.
Musk then sought to wrest control of the company and run it himself, according to Semafor.
When Altman and the other co-founders rejected Musk’s power play, the Tesla mogul walked away from the project and reneged on an earlier pledge to donate more money, Semafor reported on Friday.
Musk has been critical of ChatGPT, warning that unrestrained development of AI could pose an existential risk to humanity.
The multibillionaire is also aiming to create a competitor to ChatGPT, which he has blasted as being “woke.”
Musk has enlisted the help of AI researchers to help found a chatbot with fewer speech restrictions.
The new bot could potentially be integrated into Twitter, the social media company that Musk recently bought for $44 billion.
Musk’s extensive business portfolio includes Twitter, Tesla, and Neuralink, the brain chip company that has been conducting experiments to implant microprocessors into human brains in hopes of curing diseases such as blindness and strokes.
Zilis, a Yale grad who holds the title of director of operations at Neuralink, gave birth to twins in November 2021 — Musk’s eighth and ninth children.
The twins were born just weeks before Musk welcomed his second child with Canadian pop star Grimes (aka Claire Boucher), according to court documents.
Musk’s brood also includes five children — Griffin, Vivian, Jenna, Kai, Saxon, and Damian — that he shares with his first wife, Canadian author Justine Wilson.
The couple lost their first child, Nevada, who died of sudden infant death syndrome at just 10 weeks old in 2002.